March 29, 2015, the ‘Globe And Mail’ reports that, “Ottawa to offer additional funding to seriously wounded veterans” – Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole is preparing to announce additional money for Canada’s most seriously disabled veterans.
About 1,600 veterans are considered to be totally and permanently impaired as a result of an injury received in the line of duty. Of those who fall under the New Veterans Charter, only 186 received the maximum lump sum award, the amount of which is determined by the extent of the disability.”
Canada has spent $480-million since 2006, on mental health research through, specifically for projects within that investment for veterans suffering from debilitating PTSD. The government stated it will now give a total of $98,000 which will pay for studies related to service dogs, operation stress, and the relationship between veterans’ income and employment. Many veterans feel they are not being well cared for, with one Quebec resident saying his complaints to bureaucrats have fallen on deaf ears.
March 30, 2015, CKOM News reported, “Veterans unhappy with excluding PTSD in new injury benefit” – “They used to call it “shell-shock”, so in my mind obviously they haven’t covered all of that,” Boyce said. “It seems like the government gives you a little bit and sits back — they never seem to give you everything. It doesn’t address the real issues.”
Boyce laments that those who suffer from PTSD can’t go to work either. “While the government may not recognize PTSD as a disability, Boyce said it certainly is.”
CBC News reported on Sep. 9, 2014, “Quebec resident feels payment of $60K is a ‘slap in the face’ from Veterans Affairs” – Steven Ruttan had a major breakdown and tried to take his own life after returning home from Afghanistan, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Canada Mental Health recognizes PTSD as serious illness that torments victims for weeks or months after a traumatic event. Many have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.
PTSD is an unseen illness, no battle or attack wounds and scars, but inside, the victim feels what others don’t see – pain, agony, sleepless nights, and horrific nightmares.
Also, some other injuries to veterans are unseen for years, as reported in Newsweek, March 27, 2015, “U.S. Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq” – During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents.
A quarter of a century later, the troops nearest the explosions are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases, and pain.”
Today, the Examiner was in touch with, Richard Doiron, who stated: “PTSD is quite the thing. I have it, too, but for different reasons. I have problems in crowds and panic attacks. A number of people I know have that as well. Sometimes it’s not about the military, police, first responders etc. Sometimes it’s the result of childhood trauma. There are so many variables, as we both know. While journalism is near and dear to me also, I never made it a career, though I have been published in the media since 1964,” and has his website here.
This morning, Richard Doiron posted a poem about PTSD on Facebook that spoke volumes to many who read it:
“He is back from war but himself no more – for the stranger that we see, though it’s hard to tell how to halt this hell that he’s fighting inwardly! – He has fought the fight that was ruled as right – by the forces at the fore, – but the nightmares reign and he lives in pain – and his soul is now at war! – We must recognize that this “enterprise” – brings disaster to our door: – let the doctors spin there is none will win – when our worlds engaged in war!”
Richard Doiron was presented with the World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Award for 2012. The Award Ceremony was in conjunction with the 2nd World Poetry International Peace Festival, the two-day event bringing poets together from such diverse nations as the Philippines, Japan, Slovakia, India, Afghanistan, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, the latter represented by poets from many ethnic backgrounds, including Canada’s First Nations.