2021 marks the centennial of the red poppy being officially adopted as a symbol of remembrance for those who served in the First World War.
In July 1921, the Great War Veterans’ Association, a forerunner of The Royal Canadian Legion, adopted the poppy as the flower of Remembrance.
Today, millions of Canadians as well as people around the world wear the red poppy every November in memory of the sacrifice of those who have served in uniform over the years.
The Royal Canadian Legion is marking the 100th anniversary with a Gallery of Remembrance. The Legion invites you to submit photos and messages in honour of Canada’s war dead and Veterans to the Gallery here.
You can find more on the history of the Remembrance Poppy on Veterans Affairs Canada’s Quick Facts page.
Veteran Success Story
Captain Judy Harper: Blazing trails all her life
Throughout her military career, Captain (Ret.) Judy Harper has always been the first woman in her role, either as an operational commander or in senior positions in National Defence Headquarters.
“As a child, I never knew how limited options were for women,” she says—in the military or in general. Perhaps that is why she led the way for many women to advance to senior roles in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
Be heard in the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action settlement: File a claim by November 24
As part of the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement, individuals who experienced sexual misconduct while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, and/or during employment with the Department of National Defence or the Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces, can file a confidential claim for financial compensation and apply to participate in the Restorative Engagement program.
Sexual misconduct includes any form of verbal or physical sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, and sexual assault.
Individuals can file a claim online with the independent court-appointed Claims Administrator or download a Claim Form and submit it to the Claims Administrator by email, fax or mail. Claim forms must be filed by the deadline, 24 November 2021.
Adapting and improving for Veterans during COVID‑19
Since the pandemic began, we have reached out to over 20,000 Veterans. While offices remain closed, you can continue to connect with us through My VAC Account secure messaging or by calling 1-866-522-2122.
Here are some other ways we have adapted to better serve you during the pandemic:
Vocational rehabilitation providers are offering virtual assessments tailored to each Veteran’s unique situation
Certain prescription requirements have been waived and coverage for virtual health services is extended.
Some health assessments are taking place virtually, allowing our health professionals to provide more accessible services.
To stay up to date with the latest information, bookmark and visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus page.
Resources for homeless Veterans
An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 Veterans experienced homelessness in Canada in 2019, and together we can change this.
Staff at Veterans Affairs offices across the country are available to help Veterans who are experiencing homelessness, and connect them with organizations in their communities that work to solve homelessness.
VAC also offers immediate supports like the Veterans Emergency Fund, which can provide funds quickly for urgent and unexpected needs. These can include essentials like food, shelter or medical expenses while we identify long-term needs and look for more long-term solutions.
If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, the first step is to contact a local area office by calling us at 1-866-522-2122.
Free and confidential professional mental health support is also available for Veterans, their families and caregivers toll-free, 24/7 through the VAC Assistance Service, at 1-800-268-7708 or 1-800-567-5803 (TTD/TTY).
McGill seeking Canadian Veterans to participate in cannabis use study
The MissionVAV program from McGill University is developing new strategies to improve the health of Veterans who deal with physical and mental health issues. McGill is looking for Veterans to participate in an anonymous cannabis use study. Your experiences as a user, positive or negative, are invaluable to researchers.
Currently, knowledge of medical cannabis treatment for conditions like chronic pain, stress, poor sleep and post-traumatic stress disorder is largely driven by trial and error. By participating in this study, you can help researchers find better ways to use medical cannabis to improve the health and well-being of your comrades, their family members and other Canadians.
Visit the Active Veterans website to share your experience by completing a brief and anonymous online survey. For more information, call 1-800-461-3006. McGill will not collect your name nor contact information while conducting this study.
You are invited to take part in an online study:
Pain and mental health in Canadian Veterans and their children
Chronic pain can run in families. While many children are resilient, pain can sometimes be transferred from parent to child. This University of Calgary study will examine this process and seek ways to manage chronic pain transmission to future generations.
Who can participate: Canadian Veterans and serving members, along with their children aged 10-24 years.
How to participate: Veterans and their children will be asked to complete an online survey, which will take 30 to 45 minutes to finish.
For more information or to take part in the study, please contact the research team directly by emailing, or by calling 403-210-7846.
Do you know other Veterans, family members or others who would benefit from the information in this newsletter? Feel free to share it with them.