Letter from James Smith


legion-medals2I like to show letters I receive from other people who support and disagree with my views. I have added to this blog a letter received from one James Smith. James clearly does not agree with me on most points. Lets take the legion service medals first. I too, have some legion service medals, but I choose not wear them. James values and has pride in his legion service medals, and that is okay, its his choice and right. However, it is also my right not to see value in these medals as he does.  I recently tried to get a count on the number of legion service medals available, apparently the page is down?? In the photo you can count seven but there are several more such as Meritorious service,Palm leaf etc. Then of course there a couple more that are available for beaumont-hamel150 medalsale at $25 each. Quite a list any way you care to count them. I doubt any other Canadian organization would have quite so many medal awards. There are firms that produce such medals to order, some are very attractive and also pricey, of course that is what they are in business for. The point is none of these medals have Royal Assent therefore they are not real medals. I choose not to wear them, because as the Legion so often reminds me NOK wearing loved ones medals, dilutes the value of the actual medals. James also advises me to changed the law I should go to the government, the legion do not make the laws. Agreed James, I’m aware of that fact, however if the legion petitioned the government to amend the law, it would have a greater impact than a single person requesting same. Unfortunately this is the same old argument the legion trot out time and a again, We are only obeying the law.  Incidentally, on two occasions, I sent in resolutions (presented as required by RCL bylaws) they were stopped in their tracks at provincial, so much for chain of command. I accept I was wrong in suggesting that only associate members screw up at Remembrance Day services. I apologize for so quickly jumping to that conclusion.  Nevertheless, James, I`m not going to change your views so will not waste time trying.  I do have one simple piece of advice for you. If my blogs (rants as you call them) about NOK wearing medals pisses you off so, then please don`t read my postslegion

From James Smith.

So the November 11th parade was piss poor. Confirmation that it was an Associate member of the Legion that screwed the pooch? The parade I attended was also a complete shambles. I’ve been advised formal complaints tot he City of Toronto Protocol office are being filed on it, that’s how utterly bad it was. Guess what the RCL Zone Commander in charge of it was a Vet. His appointed Parade Commander Sgt at Arms who also screwed up is an Associate. Where does former service automatically equate with doing the job right, or poorly? I’m also getting a little pissed at your medal rants. Yes we get it you would like Section 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada revoked or amended to allow NOK to wear deceased family members medals on appropriate occasions on the right side as in other commonwealth countries. I agree it is an archaic law who’s original purpose no longer exists. But the fact remains it is a law and the only one’s who can change that are the Government of Canada not the Royal Canadian Legion, a fact pointed out to numerous times. At best the RCL could put a recommendation to the Government of the Day to change or rescind the law. To do that you’d need to hustle and have the appropriate motion put on the floor at your Provincial Convention in 2017. Then maybe it will be voted on at the Dominion Convention in Winnipeg in 2018. I’ll tell you what if it makes it that far I’ll even vote for it. No guarantee it will pass though and even if it does don’t count on this Government passing them though. Remember they cancelled the 150th Commemorative Medal, and are forcing Vets back to court to fight for benefits. Aside from vague and broken promises, the only thing they’ve done for us was reinstate a couple of closed offices to pacify the PSAC and promise to send us into harms way again in Africa to win brownie points at the UN. Also I really object to calling Legion Medals pretend ones. Pretend medals are what kids wear at Halloween. RCL awards as again has been pointed out to you ad nauseum were instituted, by veterans to recognize service to the RCL, a parallel award system. I have Legion medals awarded to me for my service to the RCL and medals awarded by the Crown for my service to the Country. I value and respect both sets.004

So there folks you have James and his defense of the Legion. I note a little bit of sarcasm and hostility, but nothing I can`t handle. I have long since become accustomed to that type of angry response from Dominion and Provincial command members. Not really the best way to recruit, keep or bring back dissatisfied members in my opinion. Clearly those in charge do not take criticism very well.  The fight goes on and I will continue to push the legion for change.

God Bless and keep reading ( James you are of course exempt )

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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 family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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