Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

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Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by MSDwyer on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 09:01

I have been considering for the past couple of years on whether or not I should become a member of my local legion. It has never been my intention NOT to become a member, it is simply one of those things which I had never gotten around to doing. I retired in 2006, even though I did not really want to, and although I have often been inside Legions, and am aware of their position in our various communities, I have never felt "drawn" to them. Now, lately, as I peruse the various correspondence posted by various members, and read the various responses put out by different legion commands, the reason for not joining has become very obvious.

These heroic men and women from past years and past wars have every right to be there. Upon returning home from conflicts around the globe, these men and women required a social base from which they could share their experiences. That social base has gone forward and done wonderful things for men and women in uniform. They have stood the fight, won and lost battles, and assisted those in need.

Today, that social base has been replaced by technology. Modern soldiers, sailors and airmen and airwomen do not need a "table in the corner" to discuss their business. They simply have to sit at their desk at home or in the office and share their experiences. Our heroes of past conflicts did not have that opportunity and needed the comfort of comrades in arms to relate to.

It is my own personal opinion that the Legions in our country are going to suffer a dramatic loss in membership commensurate with the declining population of WW2, Korean and other conflicts in which the present membership have participated simply because of their own short-sightedness. And by that, I do not mean the short-sightedness of its members. I mean the obvious limited participation in what we "modern" vets consider important is not being carefully considered here. If Bill Gates had kept Microsoft for himself, then he would be the only rich person involved in that corporation.  He did not do that. He sought out the brightest and best to represent his ideas and ideals. By doing so, he created the greatest organization he could simply by listening and doing what his advisers and partners required. By doing so, he kept a tangible hold on a huge organization, while ensuring that his "members" benefited.

If the persons leading the way in today's Legions do not see the potential for lost membership, simply because they are stuck in the past, then they are preparing a recipe for disaster. Imagine, if you would, a future where the Legion is relegated to a Social Club for those who have had, might have had, or maybe will have, someone in their families who were at one time affiliated with the Canadian Forces. Does the current situation at the Corp. Of Commissionaires ring any bells??? They to are losing membership from "Uniform" personnel to a membership which now includes family members of former Military personnel.

Go to any gate at any Base and you will see such. Where once there were efficient people with obvious Military backgrounds, you now see young people with long hair and sloppy uniforms "guarding" our gates.

Many will not agree with me. Not today anyhow. However, I am willing to bet my own Uniform that in twenty years, our local legion will be devolved to a Bingo Parlor with a pool table in the corner, frequented by hat wearing, pant sagging personnel who, if asked, could not tell you where Dieppe is, never mind what it means in the collective consciousness of our Country.

Imagine, if you will, a future Remembrance Day Ceremony with NO representation from our Legion, simply because the drive is not there. And by drive, I mean dedicated persons, who have been recognized by their government and by their Legion. I understand that this may be a stretch of imagination, but the possibility exists. And that possibility exists because it's future membership depends on its current support.

I for one have decided that being a member of a social club is far more interesting to me today than paying dues for something I will not be receiving tomorrow.

Anyone for crib???

Anthony (Tony) Dwyer, CD, Gult&Kuwait

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by skater275 on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 22:11

In my personal experience I find that the Legion hall are mostly runned by "associate members" i.e wives, relatives and friends of Vets . IT took me once 3 months to join a legion in Coben on, and I had nothing but a bad experiences cause they (WW2 & Korean) vets do not repect our service and they disaprove the way our newest vets in thier opinion are coddled with the highway of heros etc etc and have no bones telling you about it. So I stay away cause My son nephew and brothers all served in the Ghan. Thats what happened to me. you have to judge for yourself like a pair of shoes just try it on for size. Skate out.
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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by MSDwyer on Fri 17 Sep 2010, 18:42

I agree with you there Skater. The places I have visited all seem impervious to what is happening today. Not that the members are caught up in yesteryear, but I was always given the impression that as a member of this generation, we have not merited their respect. Odd isn't it?

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Sat 18 Sep 2010, 12:18

IMO the Legion and it's ever dwindling membership that actually wore a CF uniform is because they are "Victims of Their Own Vanity".

Why would anyone in the 70's to the 90's who were serving in the CF want to join the Legion when you were ridiculed, drunkingly spat upon, verbally abused and downright thrown out of a Legion Hall because a member got his shorts in a bunch because current members of the CF were sitting there having a few beers and a laugh.

The "vanity" of the Legion membership during this 25 year span did not have the foresight to accept currently serving CF members as part of the Legion family. Only when the vets were dieing and enrollment was stagnant did they open their doors to civilians.

Just because the Legion can boast about having a 370K membership but only 70K of them are actual veterans does not give them the automatic privelidge to say they are the voice and representatives of veterans. I would say the Veteran Voice is more of a "voice for the veteran" then the Legion.

But the most suspicious actions of the Dominion Command is that they are not willing to fully support the Veterans National Day of Protest. Their suspicious actions of not wanting to support a monumentous event of Canadian veterans across the country for the first time in history protesting the lack of help from their government is almost akin to treason.

It's almost as if Dominion Command is waiting for an implosion within the veteran community. So that during the uproar they can go to the government and ask to be annointed as the saviours and representatives for the veteran community.

I guess that's what happens when you have about 300,000 civilians in an organization...they are just a pack of cowardly, coniving power mongering whores who just want to be important at the cost of the sick and injured who are too weak to fend for themselves.
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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by birdgunner on Sat 18 Sep 2010, 13:05

In absolute agreement with this issue.

My next door neighbour(legion member) who had 2 years of navy service back in the 50's looked at my Vet licence plate and stated "How can you be a Vet?".

If you have to ask then you don't deserve an answer. I don't have any time for these uniformed, ignorant individuals.

Went to my legion branch here in Selkirk, MB to ask for assistance from the Service Officer for information and guidance in dealing with a VAC matter. He took one look at the paperwork listened unattentively for 10 minutes and told me He was unable to assist as it was a new ball game and He didn't know the procedure or anyway to help. This is from an appointed voted position. I found out later the service officer was a civilian with NO military background.

This is typical of the attitude of the current Legion membership and commitees, as you stated it is run by civilians. To even try to get your foot in the door of the Legion committes and they slam the door on you.

When I logged onto Selkirk Legion and looked at their photos for events from the past few years almost everyone in a Legion blazer has a row of medals on their chest and not one is from service to the forces.

It is imparative for the Legion to change their attitude immediately and get on board with the issues surrounding the current Vets if not, the curent revolt will only intensify as more Vets say goodbye to the Legion by not renewing or joining the Legion.

I am disgusted by the fact that there is too many organizations with there agendas on the table. We have to be united in our stance to progress in our issues and everyone has to be on the same battle field with the same mission statement.

Cheers


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Legion Membership

Post by Hammer on Mon 11 Oct 2010, 19:20

I let my Legion membership expire about 3 years ago (25 year member). Reason was that it seemed to me that they were no longer supporting Veterans and were not looking after Veterans' welfare. Now that the Legion will not get involved in supporting our Veterans on the NVDOP, I do not regret my decision. I thought the Legion was supposed to look after Veterans issues for the benefit of the Veteran but obviously I was wrong.I also do not like being called Comrade (sounds Commie). Just my thoughts

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Ex Member on Mon 11 Oct 2010, 19:33

I think it boils down to the fact that the legion always goes along with the government. They do not want to cause any waves. If you go into a legion in my area its all former cadets and relatives of somebody who new somebody back in the service. I went a couple times as a guest and veterans topics very rarly made the rounds. In fact to be honest it felt more like a union hall or union meeting . I am not a member. I find all the info i need right here on this site. The staff at Vvi deserve alot of praise because would we really want to get our Vet info from the legion. honestily. Navrat out

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The Legion

Post by MSDwyer on Thu 21 Oct 2010, 17:35

Glad to see some people hold my views on this insidious organization. If we can now only get all Canadian Military Vets to simply give them back their membership cards, then maybe Nov 6 can become the new National Day of Recognition for Vets. Nov 11 ceremonies notwithstanding, I will never stand alongside a member of any Legion in Canada and recognize that person as being on our side. I will honor the individual as we all should, because the individual has done what we all have done - given our lives to our country. But the Organization itself can go to hell
cheers
tony

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by RealVET on Fri 22 Oct 2010, 01:02

You know i have been reading your posts and ditto and i agree I have been dealing with the Legion for years and My branch in Maple Ridge 88 is one of the richest legions around. I have tryed to get help in many ways from them but to no avail. The only reason i stayed a Legion member as long as i have is to hopefully make changes with in.Such is NOT the case as i was classed as a trouble maker to them just because i wanted to get peacekeeping Veterans to be recognized as veterans.I remember when i first came to this legion wearing my "gongs" and my blue beret well i was told in no uncertain terms that I would not be allowed to wear my blue beret on the Nov 11 parade in 2002..I said umm sorry i served in the UN NOT the legion it annoys me these twits have oodles of decorations on the right but not one on the left..over their heart..Well the legion obviously has no heart to help the new generation of veterans there fore I am refusing to re-up my membership,,Not supporting the veterans national day of protest was the last straw!!

Gary Grigg CD SSM CPSM Unficyp2 wound stripe

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My E-mailed response to the Campbellford Legion Fiasco that occurred Saturday Night

Post by MSDwyer on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 17:44

Subject: Halloween Fiasco



The Royal Canadian Legion

Ontario Provincial Command

89 Industrial Parkway N

Aurora ON

L4G 4C4



I would like to express my deepest disgust at the atrocity that you permitted to occur within your Legion Hall in Campbellford, Ontario this past Saturday night. If you have the intestinal fortitude to continue reading this email then please do so. If it is your intent to reply to this email, please include all the above listed addresses, or I can simply forward your explanation. Please do not respond with a typical response such as "each Legion is responsible for it's own entertainment options", because it will severely negate what each Legion is required to do in the name of decency - which is certainly a Provincial, if not a National Legion responsibility.

For more years than I have been on this planet, and for the entire 25 years that I spent in Uniform, I have never witnessed this type of atrocity occurring within a Legion Hall. Military persons and Veterans the world over have fought against this type of oppression since time immemorial, and will continue to do so long after this story has been replaced with other atrocities that happen each and every day.

You allowed these individuals to enter an establishment which is steeped in Military history. A place which displays honors and awards, emphasizes loyalty and respect, honor and dedication. I presume you also keep a Memorial or such depicting the names of honored Vets who have already gone to their Maker.

Each year on Remembrance Day you hold ceremonies which show your dedication and respect, not only for our Veteran's but also for our Country.

Canada was never involved in the disgusting Slave Trade. Canada, through its sons and daughters proved a refuge for those who were running from the oppression that they were experiencing within the borders of our Southern neighbor. Many Canadians risked their lives to provide a safe haven for those wishing to escape what YOUR LEGION has depicted in our National Newspapers; and our Veterans have fought and died to ensure the safety of persons all over this planet, whether it be through oppression, discrimination, Military Junta's, threats to National Security et al. Canadian Veteran's have been involved in moving Refugees of ALL NATIONALITIES, Races, Backgrounds etc....and not once did any of these brave souls use their positions, places or personal values to interfere with the work they were asked to perform.

I am not sure of which I am more surprised (disgusted) with: The fact that these individuals were permitted to GET INSIDE YOUR ESTABLISHMENT, or the fact that they were awarded FIRST PRIZE for displaying the complete opposite of what my fellow countrymen are dying to prevent. In any event, I am disgusted with each on an entirely new level for me.

To think that a resident of your own community, an obvious individual whose own Race was, and is, the subject of massive discrimination for centuries shocks me to tears. To think that someone opened the doors, viewed this despicable depiction of Racism and hatred, and permitted it's entry into a LEGION is beyond my simple comprehension. PLEASE TELL US WHY you permitted these people to enter dressed as they were?.......Please tell me that these individuals are not part of your forming committees or fund raising committees, or any other damned committee, because if they were then you should simply pass in your resignation today and leave.

This week is filled with activities involving Veterans. School children will view Legion Personnel, Veterans, supporters, current Military etc laying wreaths, giving informative speeches, describing experiences.

Please remember that these school children will also be reading our National Papers depicting what you have done - and their young, impressionable minds will simply relate that story to any other story our Vets have to tell.........You have destroyed our image on the very week that we are seeking to be noticed. HOW DARE YOU???!!!

It makes me cringe to think of the possibility of a young child asking an aged Vet if he was at a Halloween Party on the weekend, and asking him if he won 1st prize for his "COSTUME".

Not many things that occur in this Country has the capability of making me feel a personal sense of shame. I have done my duty to Queen and Country. I have lived the atrocities forced upon the less fortunate in many parts of this world. I have witnessed the amazing capabilities of a limited Military, manned by dedicated souls. I have seen good. I have seen bad. I have seen evil.

I have never in my life seen a Legion degrade it's own membership, and the Public Eye. You have removed everything from us during our most momentous moment. What you have done supersedes everything we have done - and certainly not in a positive light.

The gentleman who witnessed this atrocity must live in a township where everyone will look at him in a new light. Can you even imagine what you have done to his spirit? What you have done to his soul?......you can never repair that, as those of us who suffer in silence already know. That poor man will never feel the same again - and that, in itself, is probably the greatest atrocity of all.

Please be advised that your legion, on its own, has demonstrated in it's entirety what has become of a time honored organization. Your Legion is representative of the reasons why we will have no support at the Rally being held Nation-wide this coming Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 1100 hours. Your Legion is indicative of the failures to our Country's legion of Veterans, RCMP and serving members of our Military. Your legion has expressed, in one stupid move what your entire Organization has expressed this past year: That you are simply a Social Club who has lost touch with it's own members, and most certainly you have expressed that you are not forward looking enough to understand that you are losing your future as well. No son or daughter of mine will ever receive my recommendation to enter a Legion. I will ask them to honor my service to this country in other ways than those dictated by you and your kind.


Anthony John Dwyer, CD1, NATO, Gulf&Kuwait
1982 - 2006 served with honor

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 19:31

WELL WRITTEN SIR!!!!
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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by MSDwyer on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 20:09

Thank you.......it felt good to get that off my chest.

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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 21:06

I can't wait to see the letters to the editor tomorrow in the Sun! There is going to be some doozies I bet.
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Re: Royal Canadian Legion / Topics & Posted Articles

Post by Teentitan on Wed 03 Nov 2010, 21:30

Just read this on the Toronto Sun and thought you would like to know the consequences this Legion is facing.


CAMPBELLFORD - “What the hell were you thinking?” — Jay Leno to Hugh Grant, July 10, 1995.

The problem is the two men in the middle of a racial storm here say they were not thinking.

And now are “very sorry.”

The question for those hurt and outraged by the insensitivity of their Halloween humour attempt, is their fall-on-their-sword mea culpa enough?

Currently the Royal Canadian Legion branch has been ordered closed temporarily pending an investigation on how it is these people were not only allowed into the party dressed so inappropriately but also won a prize for best original costume.

Ontario president Ed Pigeau said one legion insider has been “severely reprimanded” and more discipline or, perhaps, “dismissals” is a possibility.

Meanwhile, the public knows them s a pretend Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and a black-faced mock-lynching victim.

But the men who dressed up for a Halloween party the Legion are area residents — one a millwright and the other a retired Toronto Police officer.

Both who say they took a “crazy” idea of trying to win a contest way too far.

They honestly never intended, or even perceived, the outcome, the say.

“I didn’t see it as a big thing and thought it was just a Halloween costume but after the fact I realize it’s just stupid and was extremely poor judgment,” said a shaken Blair Crowley in an interview Wednesday. “I am sorry for what I have done and take 100% responsibility.”

His partner in the stunt, Terry Nunn, echoed the sentiment — saying as a former police officer, “I of all people should have known better and I feel terrible for the mistake that I made. It was stupid and I want to apologize to everyone including the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Police Association from which I retired in 2006 as the director of legal services.”

So what the hell happened?

Crowley said it started with a quick decision to attend the party with his fellow Harley Davidson enthusiast pal because both of their wives had other plans.

“We needed to make up some customs fast,” said Crowley.

Nunn said his pal’s original idea was to “dress up like Charles Manson and even put the swastika on his forehead.”

Nunn, Toronto’s 1981 police officer of the year and a veteran of 32 years on the job which he said included stints as a homicide detective, knew that was in bad taste.

“I told Blair it was too much,” he said.

But how they ever thought going as a KKK member and a black man with a noose around his neck was more appropriate is a mind-bender.

“I saw a bed sheet and...I didn’t want to be a ghost,” explained Crowley. “It kind of evolved from there.”

Next came a piece of Bristol board and an old confederate flag.

“I thought I would go as a black person to match that,” Nunn said.

They were trying to be funny and both say it never occurred to either of them that somebody might take offence.

“We were trying to shock a bit,” said Crowley. “We wanted to win.”

Nunn said the pair told people to let them know if they were offended.

“But people seemed to laugh and a lot of people said not to worry it was just a Halloween costume,” he said.

There was also a person at the party wearing a “Nazi chef” costume with a Hitler moustache and SS insignia and no one seemed worried about that, either, Nunn said.

The Legion is investigating that as well.

Neither men knew anyone was upset about their attire until news broke in the media that local restaurateur Mark Andrade, a man of Jamaican ancestry, was “disgusted” by it.

Now both men say they want to make amends.

“He runs a great restaurant and I never ever wanted to hurt his feelings,” said Nunn. “We were clearly wrong.

He says they’ll both go to Andrade and apologize face-to-face and hope to be forgiven.

“I don’t believe in the KKK,” Nunn said. “It was just a silly Halloween costume idea that went off the rails and I know one day I will look back and say ‘You idiot.’”

I teased both that maybe next year they can go as a pair of asses — as in attend without a costume.

But in fairness I have to say I felt both men were contrite, humbled and genuinely mortified by their transgressions. It was bad judgment but I don’t see any evidence they are bad guys or that there was intended malice. They also did not run and hide from the controversy but dealt with it head on — as has the legion.

I think my wise friend Bernie Farber, of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said it best by indicating there are important lessons learned.

“Invoking one of history’s most demonic regimes either in fun or otherwise is provocative,” said Farber. “It will in all certainty get you noticed but dressing up as a Nazi SS or wearing the robes of the KKK is about as funny as wearing a Paul Bernardo mask.”

When Jay Leno asked Hugh Grant ‘what he was thinking’ the movie star said “I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing.”

Two guys in Campbellford now understand what he meant.

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The Legion is not for me

Post by Callaghan on Tue 09 Nov 2010, 04:05

Having struggled through hell thanks to an OSI, and having asked the Legion for assistance when times were at their worst, only to be turned away with repeated refusals without explanation ... I have no time whatsoever for the Legion.

While it was a place that my grandfather, who served in both WW2 and Korea, cherished and frequently took me with him on his frequent visits, the experiences I have had in the last few years have tarnished these memories. Indeed, I can't help but think that if my grandfather were still alive he would take it upon himself to give the civilians who run most of the branches such a thrashing that they would pray for a chance to have served with even a smidgeon of the dignity and honour that so many of us have.

That it was not just the local branches in Toronto, but also the provincial command of Ontario and the Dominion Command that failed to assist in my hour of greatest need, when I faced eviction from my apartment while suffering from the deepest hell of depression, while at the same time the leadership were professing an active participation in assisting those most in need of help, still curdles my stomach. That several of my relatives (with whom I have severed all ties), who never served a day in uniform, and likely would soil themselves at the first barked command while failing to even resemble standing at attention during basic training, and who look down with snobbery at anyone who has made the commitment to serve, have been able to claim positions of responsibility in various Legion halls across Canada simply by being the offspring of my grandfather, makes me feel physically ill.

That the Dominion Command continues to support the farsical "We-Support-The-Troops" BS that is spewed on the public by both the government and the insurance-minded denial-by-design cretins at VAC gives the optics of an organization suffering from a terminal illness that is clinging to life-support provided by a necrotic organization. To further the analogy, the optics of the relationship between VAC and the Legion could be viewed as similar to that occuring between a serotic liver undergoing withdrawal and the very drink that simultaneously allows that liver to function while ensuring it's eventual demise.

When the Legion returns to being an organization for and by those who served, I might reconsider my stance, but as it stands, I view the organization as being an "enemy" similar to the non-compassionate, self-serving bureaucrats at VAC who would prefer that the newest generation of veterans simply didn't exist.

W. Callaghan
Disabled Veteran, Former CF Officer

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