Open Letter: Justin Trudeau – What It’s Like To Be A Veteran In Canada

November 27, 2017

Pete Howell

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank cheque made payable to their country for an amount up to and including their life.

At 17 years old, like many of us, I signed that blank cheque which thankfully was never cashed by the Government of Canada during those years of military service.

I am a military veteran and one of the lucky ones in this country. It also includes being the son of a veteran and 4th generational soldier within our family. What about the soldiers and veterans that weren’t so lucky?

Many of them are extremely frustrated and angry because the way Canada takes better care of everyone else in the world before we take care of our law abiding citizen’s including Canadian veterans.

Why is it that you, Mr. Trudeau; Canada’s own Prime Minister can’t even take the time to be in our country on November 11th to pay respects for Canada’s fallen and soon to be forgotten?

Many Canadian veterans including myself have been insulted when our government awards millions of dollars of highly controversial compensation packages to what many believe to be a Terrorist.

In recent days, it was also announced by our federal government that Canada is going to ‘Reintegrate’ and support dozens of known Terrorist’s back into our country.

These so called Canadian citizens left our country to fight against Canada to kill our own citizens and soldiers including our own Allied forces. It was their decision to leave and now they are an enemy of the state that committed Treason under the true and legal definition.

Where is the rule of law, common sense and integrity when it comes to making these dangerous decisions? Why are we welcoming them back with love and open arms but treat our own Canadian soldiers and veterans like political pawns and garbage at times?

Respectfully, you have never taken a special oath and served in a military uniform while accepting the risk of losing your life just doing your job. Most likely, you’ve never talked to veterans that have lost everything or think about killing themselves including just wanting a job to support their family.

Have you ever taken the time to speak with a veteran who lost all his buddies in combat? Do you have any idea what that feels like? No, you don’t! However, it includes a lifetime of nightmares, regret and survivors guilt that can haunt you forever.

What about soldiers who deployed and now came back to a country that seems to be all talk and very little action? Our country ordered them to go fight our war or they volunteered to deploy overseas thinking Canada was going to always have their backs. However, when they came back, we let them down and forgot about what they did and the system seems to throw them to the curb when we’re done with them.

How would you feel if you lost friends, sacrificed your body, mind and spirit and now see your enemies come back to Canada and get ‘Reintegrated’ at the tax payers expense? Why would anyone including our government go that far to add insult to injury and slap every Canadian soldier and veteran in the face?

With that being said, I don’t expect you to fully understand or truly comprehend what it’s like to be a soldier or a veteran. Frankly, like many of us, we are appalled how our federal government have been so reckless and negligent on so many levels. These are dangerous decisions being made that put every day Canadian citizens across the board at extreme risk.

We have thousands of homeless veterans across Canada that no one seems to truly care about on many levels. I have friends and buddies who need help but the system is failing the very ones it was originally designed for in the first place. The hurdles and political crap many veterans have to go through make it impossible and so frustrating to deal with so much incompetence and red tape within the system.

In many cases, veterans simply give up trying to work with Canada’s VAC. Sadly, in extreme cases, they are too late to get the help they want and truly need but will become just another alarming statistic. Yet, we have no problem helping our enemies and citizens that have committed crimes of atrocity when they want to come back to Canada?

Our system and society in many ways is completely broken and has abandoned our own soldiers and veterans in more ways than one in recent years. What country has the audacity to sit there and give millions of tax payers dollars with love and open arms to known enemies but in the same breath says: ‘We support our veterans and thank you for your service’?

Our current system is a slap in the face doing the bare minimum for our veterans including military personnel who will be thrown to the wolves when they release. They just want what they’ve earned and are entitled to which is peanuts compared to the millions of dollars wasted each year by Canada in other ways.

Shame on you and anyone else in this country who supports these actions including negligent decisions towards our own veterans that now puts Canadians at risk.

It feels like we have been sold out by our own government from changed lifetime pensions, broken promises, benefits earned but not yet received, drastic budget cuts and constant neglecting of our military. Let’s not forget always being a political pawn when it makes for a good photo-op or buys votes in future elections only to have more broken promises.

Now, at the taxpayers’ expense, Canada will pay for own enemies to be ‘Rehabilitated and Reintegrated’ back into our society. In my opinion, we are truly a lost society and our country is falling fast. That says a lot about our current leadership when we can’t even take care of our own law abiding citizens but we can take care of Canada’s enemies!

Respectfully, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ something will happen; it’s a matter of ‘when’ something tragic happens in Canada on a large scale. When that happens, and it will, we have no one else to blame but our leaders including ourselves because we didn’t have the balls to take a stand and do what makes sense to ensure all Canadians safety.

We will never have a future if we don’t remember our past including the sacrifices that veterans have made in the name of Canada. When things hit the fan in the future, we will once again call upon our soldiers and last line of defence in our darkest hours. Will we once again throw them away when their job is all done?

Shameless on so many levels because that is already happening to our veterans in Canada today and needs to stop!

In my opinion, Canada knowingly just let the foxes back into the henhouse. One day we will wish we hadn’t done that. With all due respect, despite what you truly believe, the real world is not the ‘Sunny Ways’ that you also promised every Canadian.


Pete Howell

About the author: Pete Howell is a military Veteran and a Business Development professional within the manufacturing sector in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Thank you for taking time to read my post. As always, I welcome and appreciate your comments, feedback and please feel free to share within your own networks.

Disclaimer: The comments, opinions and views expressed herein are mine and do not represent those of my employer.

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