Tag Archives: Salute!

Salute! May 2022

A newsletter from the folks at Veterans Affairs Canada.


May 2022

Let us know what you think about Salute! by emailing us.


In this edition:

  • Observing Vimy Ridge Day, 9 April 2022
  • “Thunderhead” wins LGBTQ2+ National Monument design competition
  • 75th anniversary of the Canadian Rangers
  • Asian Heritage Month: Captain Cletus Cheng
  • Canadian Jewish Heritage Month: Sergeant Moe Hurwitz
  • Mental Health Week: #GetReal about how to help
  • Learning mental health strategies: Thriving in a digital world
  • May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
  • Supporting gender equity in disability benefits
  • National Nursing Week
  • Are you receiving treatment benefits? We want to hear from you!
  • Have your say in the 2022 VAC National Client Survey
  • Your input to the Military Sexual Trauma Peer Support Program consultation
  • Veteran story: Food for the soul

Let’s Talk Veterans allows more people to have their say on issues related to Veterans and their families. This consultation platform allows the Veteran community and Canadians to provide VAC with direct feedback that helps us improve our programs and services.

Do you know other Veterans, family members or others who would benefit from the information in this newsletter? Please share it with your friends and contacts.

View the latest issues of Salute! online.

Sincerely,

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team

Veterans Affairs Canada

You’re receiving this email because you are a registered participant on Let’s Talk Veterans.
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Salute! March 2022

A newsletter from the folks at Veterans Affairs Canada.


March 2022

You may notice something different

If you’re viewing this edition of Salute! in your email, then you’ve noticed a change. From now on, the full newsletter will be available for you to read on our website only.

This change is part of a special project we’ve been working on to enhance the Let’s Talk Veterans platform and improve your experience with it.

Stay tuned for a fresh look and some new features. Let us know what you think about Salute! by emailing us.


In this edition:

  • Funding announced to address wait times for Veterans
  • International Women’s Day
  • End of the mission in Afghanistan
  • Commemorating Peacekeepers in Cyprus
  • Veteran story: Helping others, healing herself
  • Help design mental health resources for Veterans
  • New VAC Assistance Service online chat
  • Supports for Veterans affected by military sexual trauma
  • Save the date: Virtual Careers & Employment Opportunities webinars
  • Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund recipients doing great work

To learn more about our consultations and to stay connected on Veterans’ issues, visit Let’s Talk Veterans.

Do you know other Veterans, family members or others who would benefit from the information in this newsletter? Please share this e-mail with your friends and contacts.

View the latest issues of Salute! online.


Sincerely,

Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Team

Veterans Affairs Canada

You’re receiving this email because you are a registered participant on Let’s Talk Veterans.

Salute! February 2022

A newsletter from the folks at Veterans Affairs Canada.


February 2022

Please share this email with your friends and contacts.

Let us know what you think about Salute! by emailing us.


In this edition:

  • Black History Month
  • Remembering Private Mark Graham
  • VAC wants your opinion
  • Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund announces support for more programs
  • Job opportunities for Veterans, transitioning CAF members or serving reservists
  • Helping military spouses find jobs
  • New supports for Veterans who experienced sexual misconduct
  • Veteran story: Laurie White
  • Check in on your well-being

Commemoration

February is Black History Month

Black Canadian soldiers during the Second World War. (Photo: VAC)

Black Canadians have proudly served in uniform for more than 200 years. Many overcame barriers to enlist and faced discrimination in the ranks, yet still put their lives on the line for Canada. This month and all year long, we honour their sacrifices.

Throughout Black History Month, we encourage you to learn more about the contributions of Black Veterans and service members throughout history.

Discover inspiring stories, like those of Second World War Veteran Eleanor ‘Minnie’ Gray, Sergeant (Retired) Bill Toussaint and Sergeant (Retired) Joan Buchanan, on our website and on social media. Join the conversation using the hashtag #BlackHistoryMonth.


Remembering Private Mark Graham

Private Mark Graham was an outstanding athlete and soldier.

A world-class runner, he represented Canada at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, where he competed in the 4 x 400 metre relay.

More than a decade later, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces to serve his country. He deployed to Afghanistan with the Royal Canadian Regiment, where his comrades described him as an excellent role model.

His life was sadly cut short in September 2006, when he was killed in a friendly fire incident in Kandahar Province. Learn more about his service and sacrifice on our People and Stories webpage.

Discover more inspiring stories during Black History Month.


Engagement

VAC wants your opinion

We need your help reaching Veterans who do not receive VAC benefits and services. We’re surveying the Veteran community on how they learn about and access our programs and services. We’re looking for Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, former RCMP members, family members and caregivers. Even if you have never contacted VAC or do not currently receive VAC benefits and services, we want to hear from you. This feedback will help us reach and serve more Veterans.

We are also reaching out to Veterans who are, or have been, served by the Department. These names are being taken from a random sample.

The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. It is being conducted on our behalf by the independent Canadian research firm, EKOS Research Associates Inc.

Please visit the EKOS Research website for more information and to participate.

Participation is voluntary and your responses and personal information are confidential in accordance with the Privacy Act. Your responses are anonymous; they are not kept or shared with VAC, and will not have any impact on the benefits or services you receive or may receive in the future.

This public opinion research study expands upon earlier consultations we did with the Veteran community into the topics of awareness and outreach related to our programs and services.

We kindly ask that you share this information with your network.

Thank you for your assistance!

 


Programs and services

Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund announces more resources for programs

Thirty-six organizations will receive a total of $11.3 million from the Veteran and Family Well‑Being Fund, thanks to additional investments in Budget 2021.

Four virtual events in January announced funding for 10 programs:

  • Serene View Ranch of Alexandra, PEI, will receive $400,000 to develop a stabilization, grounding and resiliency program for Indigenous and women Veterans.
  • The Lest We Forget Community Veterans Committee in Summerside, PEI, will receive $400,000 to improve the economic security of women and LGBTQ2 Veterans in PEI.
  • Helmets to Hardhats of Ottawa will receive $700,000 to assist women and LGBTQ2 Veterans in skilled trades careers.
  • The Ottawa Innercity Ministries will receive $175,000 to fund their Operation Inclusion Project.
  • Perley Health in Ottawa will receive $131,050 to fund a project that will gain a better understanding of older Veteran and family health and well-being over time.
  • Clinemetrica Inc. in Montreal, will receive $500,000 toward their Push Past the Pandemic Recovery Program, an online health promotion program.
  • The Quebec Veterans Foundation will receive $200,000 for Programme des vétéranes, which aims to reduce the rate of isolation and suicide among women Veterans.
  • Morrow Consulting and Training Inc. located in Dorval, QC, will receive $80,000 towards the A.T.H.E.N.A. Program, which aims to improve the health and well-being of women Veterans.
  • The Veterans Association Food Bank in Calgary will receive $210,000 to develop new programming to support LGBTQ2 Veterans as well as survivors of military sexual trauma.
  • Homes for Heroes Foundation will receive $250,00 to support Calgary Veterans Village: a unique, affordable and innovative urban village to house Veterans during their transition back to life after service.

There will be more events to come. In the meantime, you can find the full list of recipients on our web page.


Helmets to Hardhats job opportunities

If you’re looking for a career where you can help other Veterans, this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is looking to hire two people—Veterans, transitioning CAF members, or serving reservists—for full-time term Recruitment Specialist positions.

If hired, your focus would be on creating and implementing recruitment strategies for women and LGBTQ2+ Veterans who are transitioning to a career in trades. You would also be developing skilled trade packages for clients and Veteran organizations across Canada and providing transition counselling and support services.

Some of the skills needed for these positions are:

  • a strong knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community and the Women in Trades programs
  • the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including Board members and external partners, and
  • discretion in handling sensitive or confidential matters.

Knowledge of the Canadian Veteran community, experience in non-profit organizations and being bilingual would be assets. Closing date: 18 February 2022.

H2H is a registered not for profit organization providing opportunities in the construction and related industries for Veterans and is collaborating with the Rainbow Veterans of Canada on this initiative. For more information, visit the job posting.


Helping military spouses find jobs

Relocating military members can be hard on their spouses, who might need to find a new job. The Department of National Defence’s Military Spouse Employment Initiative (MSEI) supports spouses and common-law partners to find employment in the federal public service.

The MSEI has recently expanded by adding new kinds of jobs, which are accessible to hiring managers from Government of Canada departments and agencies. These include:

  • information management
  • programming and development
  • health services, including nurses, psychologists and social workers
  • communications and public relations
  • office administration
  • social science services
  • human resources.

If you are a military spouse or a common-law partner looking for employment, we encourage you to apply today.

For more information, visit the Military Spouse Employment Initiative website.


New supports for Veterans who experienced sexual misconduct during service 

Veterans who experienced sexual misconduct during service can now access support from the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC).

Individuals can call the Response and Support line 24/7, toll-free at 1‑844‑750‑1648 to speak to an SMRC counsellor. These support counsellors will:

  • explain how the centre can help
  • provide supportive counselling and guidance
  • describe available options
  • facilitate referrals to CAF, provincial, territorial and community-based support resources
  • devote the necessary time and attention to every conversation.

Veterans can also get continuing support and assistance from a dedicated Response and Support Program coordinator. This person can provide personal services that may include:

  • information and referrals to resources and services
  • advocacy to help you meet your needs
  • accompaniment to appointments, meetings and proceedings
  • assistance with workplace arrangements.

Callers can choose to remain anonymous, and counselling is available in either English or French.

For more information, please visit the SMRC website.


Veteran story: Laurie White

Former Mountie writes her memoir to offer hope

Former RCMP officer Laurie White shared her story in a book, 10-33: An Officer Down Steps Back Up.

Laurie White is a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with a powerful story to tell.

So she told it, in a book. 10-33: An Officer Down Steps Back Up is Laurie White’s story about her journey: the hard work she did after losing a leg in the line of duty to return to her RCMP career, her community and herself.

Laurie shared her story to show the person behind the uniform, to increase awareness, empathy and compassion for the physical and mental health challenges of disabilities, and to offer hope.

Read the full story of Laurie’s injury and journey back to her career.


My VAC Account 

Check in on your well-being

Many know that health is an important part of well-being. But did you know that it is just one of seven domains of well-being?

You don’t have to take care of your well-being alone. Supports are available to assist.

If you are a current or former member of the CAF or RCMP, the new My Well-being Check-in Tool can help you gauge your overall well-being, identify where you may need support, and learn about specific services and benefits that may help you.

So, how does it work?

  • Access the My Well-being Check-in Tool by logging into My VAC Account, and answer eight quick questions.
  • Based on your answers, the tool will identify where you may need support and generate a list of suggested actions.
  • If your responses show you need support, it will direct you to contact VAC, the CAF or the RCMP to discuss your results. If you do, be sure to advise that you have completed the My Well-Being Check-In Tool, since you’re the only person who can see your responses and recommendations.

Visit your My VAC Account to learn more and check out the My Well-being Check-in Tool today.


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.


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Salute! January 2022

A newsletter from the folks at Veterans Affairs Canada.


January 2022

Please share this email with your friends and contacts.

Let us know what you think about Salute! by emailing us.


In this edition:


Engagement

Thank you for your input on accessibility

Thank you to all who participated in the recent consultation on accessibility at Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. Your participation will help prevent accessibility barriers and improve accessibility at our organizations.

During the four-week consultation in November and December, over 200 Canadians shared their knowledge and ideas about accessibility. A final report on the consultation will be available in the coming months.

Stay connected at Let’s Talk Veterans for updates and information on upcoming consultations. Your voice matters—and we want to hear from you.


Immediate coverage for mental health services is coming soon

Mental health is a critical part of our overall well-being. That’s why we’re developing a way to give Veterans immediate coverage for mental health services.

Starting on 1 April 2022, Veterans living in Canada who apply for a disability benefit for a mental health condition, as well as those who have already applied, will automatically qualify for mental health benefits coverage. Veterans will have up to two years of treatment for conditions such as anxiety and depressive disorders, or trauma- and stressor-related disorders.

Mental health benefits will provide coverage for prescription drugs as well as treatments and examinations provided by psychologists, addictions counsellors, social workers or other approved mental health professionals.

In case you are interested, the Mental Health Benefits regulatory amendments were posted here in the Canada Gazette on 1 January 2022. You are welcome to submit comments on the amendments by 30 January 2022 by emailing us. We will consider all comments and possible adjustments before submitting the proposed regulatory amendments to Treasury Board for consideration, and then to the Governor in Council for approval.


Programs and Services

Let’s talk about mental health

It’s the beginning of a new year, a time when many people commit to taking care of their bodies and improving their physical health. This year, why not also strive to take care of our minds and improve our mental health? On January 26, Bell Let’s Talk Day, let’s take the first step to focusing on our mental health.

The journey toward mental wellness is different for everyone. It may begin with experiencing mental struggles and talking to a friend or family member. It may mean reaching out for professional support or becoming part of a peer support group. It could also mean supporting initiatives to end mental health stigma, an important step toward a healthier community.

Whatever your mental wellness journey looks like this year, know that each step you take is meaningful and that there are resources to help you on your way. Here are just a few you can check out today:

  • VAC Assistance Service is a confidential and free service available 24/7 to Veterans, former RCMP members, their family members, or caregivers. Call 1-800-268-7708 to speak to a mental health professional right now.
  • Peer support services will connect you to an understanding ear, a supportive community of people with similar experiences, and effective resources to help.
  • Operational stress injury (OSI) clinics provide in-person and virtual assessment, treatment and support to address mental health issues related to service.
  • The HOPE program offers bereaved families confidential peer support by connecting with families who have gone through a similar experience as their own.

For more mental health resources, visit VAC’s understanding mental health web page.


New year, new resources to help you manage your mental health

Between the pandemic and natural disasters, many of us might find this new year difficult.

Visit the LifeSpeak platform for guided meditations and tips on compassion fatigue, loneliness, stress and more.

Brand-new, expert-led videos and blog articles include:

Log in to LifeSpeak at veterans.lifespeak.com and enter access ID: canada.

LifeSpeak provides expert-led and bilingual resources on physical and mental health and well-being, including wellness videos, blogs, awareness campaigns and monthly chat sessions.


Launch of the Dementia Strategic Fund: Dementia Guidelines and Best Practices Initiative

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has announced the launch of a funding opportunity through the Dementia Strategic Fund: Dementia Guidelines and Best Practices Initiative.

This is the second open call for proposals resulting from funding announced in Budget 2019 to support implementing Canada’s first national dementia strategy.

The Dementia Strategic Fund: Dementia Guidelines and Best Practices Initiative aims to improve access to and use of high-quality dementia guidance in Canada. This funding opportunity is intended to  improved the availability and adoption of high-quality dementia guidance.

PHAC is currently accepting proposals. Please share this information with your network, as appropriate.

An Invitation to Submit a Funding Request (ISFR) template can be requested from PHAC’s Centre for Grants and Contributions by email. Please be sure to include “DSF: Dementia Guidelines and Best Practices Initiative” in the subject line. The deadline to submit a completed funding request is 12 P.M. (EST)28 January, 2022.


Powers of attorney can now use My VAC Account

Are you concerned about maintaining access to My VAC Account if your affairs need to be managed by a power of attorney? New changes to My VAC Account mean the people you appoint to act on your behalf can now access your account.

Over the years, powers of attorney have accessed our services on behalf of their clients or loved ones by calling us and submitting applications through the mail. As of 7 December 2021, a power of attorney can use My VAC Account to do business on your behalf. This will make taking care of your needs easier and more efficient.

From My VAC Account, your power of attorney will be able to apply for benefits and services on your behalf. They will also be able to track applications, communicate with us via secure messages, access benefits and payment history, and more.

If you are a power of attorney, contact us to request the information needed to create a My VAC Account. If you are a power of attorney and already have a personal account, log in to access your account and the accounts of those you represent.


Commemoration

Send a valentine to a Canadian Veteran

Each year, we invite schools, individuals and organizations to make special valentines messages, which we then distribute to Veterans in long-term care facilities across the country.

You, too, can send a valentine card and bring joy to a Veteran on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re an educator or a member of a community organization, please get involved in sharing in this special program.

Send your valentines by February 1 to us at:

Valentines for Vets
Veterans Affairs Canada
Commemoration, Distribution Unit
125 Maple Hills Avenue
Charlottetown, PE  C1C 0B6

Learn more at the Valentines for Vets web page.


Now hiring: Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel monument student guides 

“This experience opened my eyes to what it means to be Canadian. Working here is an incredible privilege. Lest we forget.”—Graham, former Vimy student guide

Do you know a student like Graham who is ready for the experience of a lifetime? We’re now hiring student guides to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in northern France.

The application deadline is 10 January 2022. For more information or to apply, visit our Student guides in France page.


Veteran story: Bruno Guevremont

Changing mind, changing self

“Being in the CAF becomes your identity. They break you down and build you back up. It’s a good thing, but when you leave, your identity doesn’t match the community you find yourself in anymore.”

Bruno Guevremont is a man who knows how to adapt to change. He had two distinct roles, serving separate tours in Afghanistan with two different branches in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). After releasing from service, he learned new skills to be able to pivot to new roles more than once.

Now, he’s sharing what he has learned about achieving goals in life after service with other Veterans and serving CAF members. He also coaches business leaders and employers on how to build teams and empower the best in their employees.

Read more about Bruno’s military career and his career after service.



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.


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Salute! December 2021

A newsletter from the folks at Veterans Affairs Canada.


December 2021

Please share this email with your friends and contacts.

Let us know what you think about Salute! by emailing us.


In this edition: 


Programs and services

Take care of your mental health during this season

The holiday season can be a busy time for people, with events to attend, gatherings to prepare, gifts to buy and often an especially busy period at work. This season can also be a time when many feel isolated and lonely. In short, it’s a time of increased stress that can take a toll on your mental health.

There are resources to help you and your loved ones take care of their mental health.

  • The VAC Assistance Service is a free and confidential psychological support line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-268-7708, or for TDD/TYY, 1-800-567-5803.
  • Operational stress injury clinics provide in-person and virtual assessment, treatment and support to address mental health issues related to service. Veterans, CAF and RCMP members can access the clinics through referral. Family members may also receive or participate in some of the services provided through the clinics. You can get a referral by calling 1-866-522-2122, send a request through a secure message via My VAC Account or ask your case manager.
  • The Operational Stress Injury Social Support (OSISS) program is a national peer-support network that provides social support to CAF members, Veterans and their families who are living with the impacts of an operational stress injury.
  • The Helping our Peers by Providing Empathy (HOPE) program connects CAF members, Veterans and their families with others who can relate to their experiences.
  • Pastoral outreach services are available to Veterans or their immediate family for spiritual support if they are dealing with end of life issues, or experiencing loss of a loved one.
  • The Veteran Family Program connects medically releasing and released Veterans and their families to community supports.

Remember during this busy season to take the time you need to look after yourself.


Winter is coming. The Veterans Independence Program can help!

Reach out to the Veterans Independence Program to help you remain independent and self-sufficient in your home and community.

You may qualify for the Veterans Independence Program if you have qualified for a disability benefit or the War Veterans Allowance, or receive the Prisoner of War Compensation.

Services covered by the Veterans Independence Program include:

  • grounds maintenance like snow removal and lawn mowing
  • housekeeping, such as cleaning, laundry, meal preparation and running errands
  • access to nutrition, such as meal delivery services
  • professional healthcare and support, including nursing services and occupational therapy
  • personal care
  • ambulatory healthcare, such as assessments, diagnostics, activities and transportation to these services
  • transportation to social and community activities
  • long term care
  • home adaptations—contribution toward modifying the Veteran’s home so you can carry out everyday activities.

You can apply directly through My VAC Account or download and mail a completed form.

Our goal is to make sure your life after service is as independent and fulfilling as possible. You take the lead. We’re here to back you up whenever you need a hand.


Meet your career goals with the help of the Education and Training Benefit 

A person working at a desk with a computer.
A person working at a desk with a computer.
Thinking about furthering your education or training after service? The Education and Training Benefit provides Veterans with financial support to achieve your academic and career goals.

You could use this taxable benefit toward the costs of a full-length program towards a diploma, degree, certificate or training that leads to a certification or designation. You can also apply for short courses geared toward career and personal development. Also, once you’ve finished your studies, you can apply for a $1,000 completion bonus.

You can submit applications for the Education and Training Benefit and Career Transition Services online using the guided form on My VAC Account, or by mail.

If you’re not sure what education to pursue, consider applying to Career Transition Services.

Check out our Fact Sheet to learn more about eligibility criteria and the application process. Need more info? Visit the Education and Training Benefit webpage and view the Frequently Asked Questions.

Please note: You cannot receive the Education and Training Benefit while participating in VAC’s Rehabilitation and Vocational Assistance program, or if you are receiving the Canadian Forces Income Support (CFIS).


Commemoration

Not every war is fought on the battlefield

Canadian soldiers sit in a tank as children from local villages in West Germany look on.
Canadian soldiers sit in a tank as children from local villages in West Germany look on.
On 3 December 1989, the United States and Soviet Union pledged to end the Cold War, which began shortly after the end of the Second World War.

For over four decades, communist countries in Eastern Europe, led by the Soviet Union, competed for power on the world stage with democratic countries in the West, including Canada.

Thousands of Canadians served during the Cold War, patrolling our waters and airspace at home, and deploying to countries in Western Europe, to guard against an attack that ultimately never came. Canadian Armed Forces members would serve in West Germany until 1993.


80th anniversary of the Defence of Hong Kong

Canadian soldiers training in Hong Kong in the days before the Japanese invasion.
Canadian soldiers training in Hong Kong in the days before the Japanese invasion. 

The Defence of Hong Kong began eighty years ago this month, on the morning of 8 December 1941, when Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong during the Second World War.

Almost 2,000 Canadians fought against Japanese forces during the Second World War. The battle lasted more than two weeks before the Allied troops, outnumbered and under-equipped, were forced to surrender on Christmas Day.

Those who survived were taken prisoner, like Sergeant-Major (Ret’d) George MacDonell. They faced brutal conditions in labour camps for more than three and a half years, where over 260 Canadians would die before their liberation in September 1945.

We remember their bravery and sacrifice.

Lest we forget.


Commendations

Recognize people who help Veterans

Minister of Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAulay presents the Minister's Commendation to Lisa Gaylene Rose of Fortune Bridge, PEI.
Minister of Veterans Affairs Lawrence MacAulay presents the Minister’s Commendation to Lisa Gaylene Rose of Fortune Bridge, PEI. 

Do you know someone making a difference in Veterans’ lives? Nominate them for a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Every year, we recognize outstanding volunteers who help Veterans and serve communities. It’s one of the ways we give thanks to the many selfless Canadians who give so generously of their time.

Canadians like Peter Morel, a personal trainer who helps ill and injured Veterans, often at no cost; or Lisa Gaylene Rose, whose efforts led to the construction of a new monument in Fortune Bridge, PEI. Learn more about previous recipients of the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Make certain to nominate those who you know for the recognition they deserve before the deadline of 31 January 2022. Use the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Nomination Package.

Minister's Commendation recipient Peter Joseph Morel of Ottawa.
Minister’s Commendation recipient Peter Joseph Morel of Ottawa. 


Veteran success story

A man who loves to be busy 

Grant Finnigan
Grant Finnigan 

Grant Finnigan is someone who seems to live 30 hours every day. This Veteran of 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins) has a full-time job as a firefighter, delivers Christmas food hampers during the holiday season and stays in touch with his Army comrades. On top of that, he’s a Big Brother, mentoring a youth who needs a positive male influence.

Read more about Grant’s military career and his life after service.


Veteran releases album

Just before Remembrance Day, PEI Veteran Dennis MacKenzie released his first music album, The Guardian Angel Platoon. It tells the story of a young man who joins the Canadian Armed Forces and finds a sense of belonging, purpose and family.

MacKenzie says he hopes the stories told through the songs on the album will help raise awareness about the trauma that Veterans experience during conflict, and their difficulty coping with physical and psychological wounds after returning home.

Dennis MacKenzie served nine years in the Royal Canadian Regiment, 2nd Battalion, releasing in 2013. His service included a deployment to Afghanistan, where six of his comrades and friends died in a roadside bomb attack on Easter Sunday in 2007. The song “Easter Sunday” commemorates them.

Another song, “Why Didn’t You Say Goodbye,” is about other friends who died from suicide following their return home.

CD copies of the album come with a commemorative pin inspired by the design of a lantern used in the military. Soldier On, a Canadian Armed Forces program committed to supporting Veterans and serving members to adapt and overcome permanent physical or mental health injuries, will support and distribute the album.

Now living in Bonshaw, PEI, MacKenzie founded a support program for Veterans called Brave and Broken. “It helps Veterans through peer support and activities, from music to disc-golf.”

Music has been a major part of Dennis’ life after service. “I’ve taken part in many different programs and modalities, but music has made the most difference to me,” he says.

He hopes to have a live performance launch for the album in the spring of 2022. In the meantime, learn more about his journey and his music on his website.


Engagement 

We need your feedback to improve accessibility at Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board

Conceptual image of arrow breaking through barrier wall.
Conceptual image of arrow breaking through barrier wall.
Veterans Affairs Canada and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board launched an accessibility consultation on November 17 with Veterans, their family members and other Canadians. We need your feedback to learn about any accessibility barriers you or others may experience.

Canada has a vision of its public service being the most accessible and inclusive in the world. This includes working with persons with disabilities to help identify, prevent and remove accessibility barriers.

You’ll find this consultation on our Let’s Talk Veterans platform until December 14. The final report will be published on the platform in 2022.

To learn more about our consultations and to stay connected on Veterans’ issues, visit Let’s Talk Veterans.


Reminder: Please take part in an online study 

Pain and mental health in Canadian Veterans and their children

A group of people posing to promote online study on chronic pain.
A group of people posing to promote online study on chronic pain. 

The Chronic Pain Centre of Excellence for Canadian Veterans invites Veterans, serving members and their children to take part in a new study on chronic pain.

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.


May you and yours find joy in the things that matter and keep the warmth of memories from holidays past near and dear to your heart.
Season’s Greetings

May you and yours find joy in the things that matter and keep the warmth of memories from holidays past near and dear to your heart.


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.


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