More failings in looking after our own…

August 17, 2006

That’s gratitude

Reservists are serving their country — and risking their livelihoods

Follow the link above to read the full article…

One officer interviewed for this story

returned from a tour in Afghanistan in early 2004 to find that his job

with the Ontario government had been given away. He had tried to extend

his leave by six months to complete his mission, a highly touted

initiative which involved civilian outreach in the villages around

Kabul. But a manager back home who was eager to promote another

employee denied him, and filled the job in his absence. By the time he

got back to pursue the matter, his union membership had lapsed and —

as if to add insult — the army itself decided it no longer required

his services.

Many critics point to measures taken in other countries,

saying Canada lags badly. The U.S. has laws forcing employers to

protect the reservists, they noted, while Britain compensates employers

whose workers volunteer for active duty. Australia, too, provides more

than $800 per week to companies who release workers for military

service, and bans discrimination in the workplace against reservists.

Canada, by contrast, has done little more than pass legislation

guaranteeing jobs in the event reservists are called for compulsory

service. Considering that hasn’t happened since the Second World War,

it is something less than a grand gesture. "To my thinking, we have a

moral obligation to these guys," says Bob Bergen, a research fellow

with the Calgary-based Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.

"We can do better."

"For being global champions of human rights and seekers of justice for all, we are pathetically apathetic in looking after our own."

We practise "Remembrance" once every year for those that gave "of their lives", or "with their lives".

What is needed is more than one thought of appreciation, once per year. We need to protect our soldiers at home while they protect us wherever they may be in the world. It is the very least we can do.


About Anarchenisis

Mildly competitive… maybe a small bit head strong… sometimes has an opinion… and occasionally has a requirement to be right (currently averaging 99.9% of the time). But my high level of sensitivity and empathy makes up for any of my minor faults :-)
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