Where do I begin? This is tricky, and perhaps from the public’s point of view not easy to fault the legion for providing community service. Equally difficult to explain to veterans why the legion feels they can use the Poppy fund for these services. One might say, well there are veterans that benefit from this type of aid. For example, providing funds to hospitals is an extremely difficult reason to oppose using the Poppy fund. After all, veterans use hospitals and benefit from the equipment therein. However, I see an underlying purpose by these legion branches. Surely they are promoting themselves by looking good in their communities. They are under constant attack from thousands of veterans for the extreme lack of care and support. The Poppy fund has one sole purpose, it is there for the benefit of needy veterans, not local communities. Unfortunately the majority of legion members are civilians, they have no military background or service. They see and use the Poppy fund to enhance their own images. Images that have become more than a little tarnished over the last few years. I believe by wearing the legion uniform and their own legion created medals, they now see themselves as real veterans. The real Veterans have lost the legion to these associate members, and it’s unlikely we shall ever get it back. That said, the legion branches are struggling to survive, membership is falling and their incomes drying up.. Hence the the Poppy funds, and the lack of transparency around its use . Dominion Command have a large building and staff in Ottawa, yet refuse to provide salaries or expenses. Indeed they released only one salary and that was the janitor who was on minimum wage. To sum up, it is my opinion it is only a matter of time before the last legion branch closes its doors. The major concern when this occurs, what happens to The Remembrance Day services and Poppy drive?. The Poppy is a sacred trust which is now in serious jeopardy. Worrying times indeed, and there are no easy answers. Those, are my thoughts to fellow veterans
God Bless and keep reading.