• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

‘You either went to war or you didn’t’ — How deployments divide the vet community

Staff Weenie

Full Member
Reaction score
18
Points
280
A very similar implied hierarchy also existed in the treatment of the ill & injured. Those injured in combat were the rock stars, and the lowest were those who suffered mental health issues here in Canada. Individuals (some very highly placed), and even the system itself, perpetuated this belief. I've met people who have lost a limb outside the wire, and have gone on to be inspirational leaders. Some have moved on to decent post-CAF careers. I've also met people with PTSD who will never leave their house, never work again, lost their friends and family, and will probably drink themselves to an early grave. We always seem talk about sacrifice in terms of visible injuries only, but some of the most horribly debilitating injuries I've encountered are the non-visible.

That mentality kept me (and I suspect many others) from getting help when I needed it. I don't even remember the number of times I was told I had no right to have PTSD because I worked in KAF.

It's absolute BS, and it just keeps people from getting the help they need.
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
672
Points
910
A very similar implied hierarchy also existed in the treatment of the ill & injured. Those injured in combat were the rock stars, and the lowest were those who suffered mental health issues here in Canada. Individuals (some very highly placed), and even the system itself, perpetuated this belief. I've met people who have lost a limb outside the wire, and have gone on to be inspirational leaders. Some have moved on to decent post-CAF careers. I've also met people with PTSD who will never leave their house, never work again, lost their friends and family, and will probably drink themselves to an early grave. We always seem talk about sacrifice in terms of visible injuries only, but some of the most horribly debilitating injuries I've encountered are the non-visible.

That mentality kept me (and I suspect many others) from getting help when I needed it. I don't even remember the number of times I was told I had no right to have PTSD because I worked in KAF.

It's absolute BS, and it just keeps people from getting the help they need.
So, you have to have a right to PTSD now?

The attitudes described above, along with the preceding "suck it up" mentality kept many from my generation from seeking the medical attention we needed for fear of being branded as "weak". Now, many of us are too broken to enjoy our retirements.
 

Weinie

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,233
Points
1,010
A very similar implied hierarchy also existed in the treatment of the ill & injured. Those injured in combat were the rock stars, and the lowest were those who suffered mental health issues here in Canada. Individuals (some very highly placed), and even the system itself, perpetuated this belief. I've met people who have lost a limb outside the wire, and have gone on to be inspirational leaders. Some have moved on to decent post-CAF careers. I've also met people with PTSD who will never leave their house, never work again, lost their friends and family, and will probably drink themselves to an early grave. We always seem talk about sacrifice in terms of visible injuries only, but some of the most horribly debilitating injuries I've encountered are the non-visible.

That mentality kept me (and I suspect many others) from getting help when I needed it. I don't even remember the number of times I was told I had no right to have PTSD because I worked in KAF.

It's absolute BS, and it just keeps people from getting the help they need.
Awesome post. Thanks.
 

Kilted

Sr. Member
Reaction score
238
Points
560
I think that this is part of a much larger issue in the CAF. One that is of course in some ways relates to Op Honour and other harassment issues. I don't think that it's as bad as it use to be, but I've not at the bottom of the totem pole anymore. Everyone has to find someone who has done less than them. This is why we see general hatred towards some members of the combat arms towards the combat service support trades. Hatred towards the reserves by members of the Reg Force. Hatred of the CIC/Cadets by members from the other components. Hatred by some male members towards female members.

We could take the mental health issue further, There is/was a perception by some that if you haven't deployed you shouldn't have mental health issues, you're just weak.

If there was one word that was thrown around way too much in my first few years in was weak. Of course, it would be used for people who fell out of ruck marches, or who actually had strength deficiencies. However, it was also used in very inappropriate ways as well. For example, if you missed a weekend ex to go to your cousin's wedding, you were too weak to go on exercise, even though you were on every other one.

I think I started to realize how stupid it was after doing a cenotaph guard for the local Legion. After the parade, we went back to the Legion (as we did every year). The parade fell on a parade night as it did every year. I was told by a member of the same rank as me that I was weak because I didn't come back and change into combats for the parade night.

Sorry for the slightly off-topic rant.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,633
Points
910
A very similar implied hierarchy also existed in the treatment of the ill & injured. Those injured in combat were the rock stars, and the lowest were those who suffered mental health issues here in Canada. Individuals (some very highly placed), and even the system itself, perpetuated this belief. I've met people who have lost a limb outside the wire, and have gone on to be inspirational leaders. Some have moved on to decent post-CAF careers. I've also met people with PTSD who will never leave their house, never work again, lost their friends and family, and will probably drink themselves to an early grave. We always seem talk about sacrifice in terms of visible injuries only, but some of the most horribly debilitating injuries I've encountered are the non-visible.

That mentality kept me (and I suspect many others) from getting help when I needed it. I don't even remember the number of times I was told I had no right to have PTSD because I worked in KAF.

It's absolute BS, and it just keeps people from getting the help they need.
Great post. The invisible wounds are the most difficult to treat. Well said, sir.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130

How deployments divide the vet community​


Depends on how much control you had over your full-time job. YMMV

I volunteered through my PRes unit to go to Germany. Some of the guys in my unit went there. Some went to Egypt.

They sent me to CFB Toronto for medical, dental, fingerprinting, photo I.D. card, dog tags etc.

Next, I submitted the CAF paperwork to my employer along with a request for Military Leave.

They quoted the Collective Agreement,
Military Leave
24.09 (a) Leave of absence shall be granted to employees to serve in the Armed Forces during hostilities or during a time of war as declared by the Government of Canada. Seniority will accumulate during such leave.

That meant I wasn't going anywhere.

24.09 (b) Leave of absence for Reserve training shall be in accordance with City policy as amended from time to time

I did take advantage of that every summer.

80 hours Leave With Pay ( LWP ) every summer for two weeks during PRes concentration.

Pension, sick bank, vacation time, benefits etc. all continued as if you never were away.

That got me as far as Fort Drum, N.Y. :)
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
489
Points
880
Funny but true story: one of the most decorated soldiers I know retired after long service as a Postal clerk. Lots of roto 0 deployments putting in place and supporting lines of communication to ensure support to CAF members.
When I joined in the late 90s Posties were often the most decorated people on parades.

I remember one coming to cash sales for a 12 ribbon quad bar.
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,748
Points
940
Have you met CPO management? they make the Army positively caring. That being said the outside workers are some of the happiest and friendliest people I know. Inside workers not so much...
 

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
1,359
Points
940
Have you met CPO management? they make the Army positively caring. That being said the outside workers are some of the happiest and friendliest people I know. Inside workers not so much...
Yeah - I WFH now and my "office" faces the street. The Canada Post guy walks by every weekday. He is always smiling (when it's not pouring rain or a blizzard).
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,348
Points
1,060
A very similar implied hierarchy also existed in the treatment of the ill & injured. Those injured in combat were the rock stars, and the lowest were those who suffered mental health issues here in Canada reservists. Individuals (some very highly placed), and even the system itself, perpetuated this belief. I've met people who have lost a limb outside the wire, and have gone on to be inspirational leaders. Some have moved on to decent post-CAF careers. I've also met people with PTSD who will never leave their house, never work again, lost their friends and family, and will probably drink themselves to an early grave. We always seem talk about sacrifice in terms of visible injuries only, but some of the most horribly debilitating injuries I've encountered are the non-visible.

That mentality kept me (and I suspect many others) from getting help when I needed it. I don't even remember the number of times I was told I had no right to have PTSD because I worked in KAF.

It's absolute BS, and it just keeps people from getting the help they need.

There, FTFY :)
 

CBH99

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
692
Points
990
Have you met CPO management? they make the Army positively caring. That being said the outside workers are some of the happiest and friendliest people I know. Inside workers not so much...
I have a buddy who works for Canada Post. Every day, walks his route and drops off the mail. Always seems happy, I’ve never heard him complain.

Well paid to walk a route outside on your own, and not have to deal with office nonsense? Honestly sounds blissful come to think of it 😅
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,348
Points
1,060
I have a buddy who works for Canada Post. Every day, walks his route and drops off the mail. Always seems happy, I’ve never heard him complain.

Well paid to walk a route outside on your own, and not have to deal with office nonsense? Honestly sounds blissful come to think of it 😅

'I envy the woodcutter because, at the end of the day, he can see the result of his labours.'

Albert Einstein
 

Eaglelord17

Sr. Member
Reaction score
124
Points
480
I have a buddy who works for Canada Post. Every day, walks his route and drops off the mail. Always seems happy, I’ve never heard him complain.

Well paid to walk a route outside on your own, and not have to deal with office nonsense? Honestly sounds blissful come to think of it 😅
There has to be something we are all missing otherwise going 'postal' wouldn't have been a saying.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
378
Points
1,130
I haven't heard that term in a while.

Student: "Have you ever gone on a shooting spree?"

Post Master: "The day of the gun toting disgruntled postman shooting up the place went out with the Macarena."

Well paid to walk a route outside on your own, and not have to deal with office nonsense? Honestly sounds blissful come to think of it 😅
 

Attachments

  • dog.jpe
    dog.jpe
    84.5 KB · Views: 2

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
409
Points
810
'I envy the woodcutter because, at the end of the day, he can see the result of his labours.'

Albert Einstein

A former boss once said he'd rather spend a day cutting grass than be at a senior command meeting. When he is cutting grass, he could look behind him and see what he accomplished.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,633
Points
910
A former boss once said he'd rather spend a day cutting grass than be at a senior command meeting. When he is cutting grass, he could look behind him and see what he accomplished.
Understood. I prefer being a one hook private here where I work now than a supervisor.
 
Top