The Legion! Who Needs this S–T

legionEvery once in a while I start to wonder why I bother. Its not like I’m getting anywhere. Dominion Command and Provincial Commands will just carry on as usual. Their arrogance goes way beyond any form of reasonable dialogue with the membership. They are not going to give up their cushy and rich perks-pay and self importance for a few discontented members. They are in their Ivory Towers, high above and safe from veterans. I ask myself why I bother,I’m 77 years old and certainly do not need the stress and aggravation in my life.  However,each time I become discouraged it seems I get another email that drives me forward one more time. I would like to  share this email from Kyle.

Kyley Parker
I am a 29 year old Afghan vet. I served as a Leopard tank driver with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC). I released a few years ago and moved back home to Portage La Prairie. I joined the legion, because I missed having army buddies to talk to. Shortly after we lost Cpl Cirillo there was a call out on a Facebook page for Canadian Vets to stand guard at their local Cenotaphs. It was a Friday afternoon so I decided to head to the legion after work for a beer and to see if anyone would join me the next day at the Cenotaph. I work construction now, and was wearing a high vis safety shirt. There was a member working the door for the meat draw, and when I tried to enter he stopped me and asked if I could change my clothes, or just have a quick beer and leave before the meat draw started. I was taken back by this, but I didn’t argue. I came back with different clothes on and politely asked the gentleman if it was an actual rule passed by the board that high vis work clothes were not allowed in the legion? He said no, but “certain” members didn’t like them. I than politely explained to him that I was in fact a member, I served with the Strathcona’s and served in Afghanistan. This didn’t matter to him, he went on to tell me that he had been a member of the legion for over 20 years and they just didn’t like those type of clothes in the legion. If this had been an actual rule, I would not have questioned it, but it wasn’t. And the attitude this guy had with me really floored me. I left and never went back. The legion was founded for young men that returned home after serving their country. I wanted to go to MY legion for a beer after a hard days work and was not met with the kind of welcome I expected. I have spoke to other young vets and I am hearing similar stories. It seems that some people think of the legion as their own personal social club, and they don’t like change or new people spending time there. I tried to invite a few of my friends to the legion before this happened and we were made to feel very uncomfortable by the “regulars” because we were having a few beers and having a good time, by no means out of hand, but they made it clear we weren’t welcome. The legion always seems to be reporting that membership is down, but when I tried to support it I felt like an intruder. If they don’t want young vets showing up who invite a few friends in on a cold winter afternoon for beer and pool, who do they expect to be there in the next couple of decades?

Sadly Kyle your story is all too common, But take heart it not just young veterans,  they are not all that keen on us older veterans either!!!!

God Bless and keep reading


About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Legion! Who Needs this S–T

  1. Ira Peters says:

    I had the same sort of welcome,too bad! But if we were to form the troops and get in there and take it back we certainly show our true colours and maybe then more Veterans would feel at home!

  2. irishroverpei says:

    Unfortunately that is easier said than done?

  3. Dan says:

    So you think one day the legion will show where the money collected from the poppy sale goes

  4. Dan says:

    Had the misfortune to attend a ceremony in another city commemorating a monument for veteran well it did no go well first when it was the form up for the march the legion and its majority of civilian walked in front of veterans when we came back I did not join this joke, at a reception the sgt d arme a civilian came to me and told me under the legion code it was illegale to wear a tie with a hook i have to wear a full one even if i was not wearing legion uniformand my tie was not legion, well by respect to the one who got the monument I did not say nothing but it help me alot in regard of why the legion is slowly dying . To bad in the 70 and 80 the legion was an organization with much more veterans who were proud to be member.

  5. irishroverpei says:

    I have pride in my appearance a carry over from the Navy, when I parade I take care, my shoes are polished, trousers have sharp creases, my hair is short and I wear my beret correctly. However, when I look around at the associates, long hair dirty shoes etc etc. All part of why the legion is failing and newer veterans are not joining. At least in my my opinion.

  6. Joel VanSnick says:

    I concur with Kyle, it appears that the associate membership have totally taken over the Legion that was created by Veterans, I believe in the ideals that the Legion represent but the associates membership have totally ruined what we the Veterans stand for, yes I have served my country for 35+ years and I also am always turned out properly and it irritates me to stand next to an associate member that dresses like a slob but due to the fact he has several years of standding at the same bar he is accorded the right to speak and be heard. I have no issues with the Dominion and Provincial saleries as they have a tough job to do, my only issue is with the associate members that continue to re-write the policies and procedures to suit the associate membership. For the first time since 1977 I will be removing my jump wings from my uniform and the commendation that I earned in Afghanistan since the motion to ammend the Rituals manual to allow us veterans to wear our trade qualifications was voted down, I will finish my term as a Zone Commander and I will take my energy and professionalism else where. A very fraustrated Veteran.

    • Pat Hale says:

      I’m sorry you feel this way. I am a 38 yr. Life Member, 1st Vice President, Membership Chair, Secretary for 8 years, I am an Associate member. I put my heart and soul into my Branch and into the Legion.

      • irishroverpei says:

        I’m sorry too, I don’t believe the majority of veterans blame all associates, indeed we are grateful for their great contributions over the years. The problem as I see it, is too many associates have taken it upon themselves to dictate policy. Tom Eagles is a glaring example of what an associate should not be. Bedecked in legion medals, sons receiving legion bursary’s, trips to tropical islands,visits to the UK Legions, wives in tow, undisclosed salaries, travel and expenses. Unfortunately Pat all associates are tarred with the same brush because of the few.

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