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Lynda Roberts

Branch 142, Dunnville

07 October 2013 - Issue #40

Support available for veterans and their families

The Royal Canadian Legion has been delivering programs to Veterans and their families for 67 years since 1926 and we continue to advocate for all Veterans and their families to ensure they receive the benefits and services they deserve.  The Legion continues to be the only Veterans organization in Canada advocating for and providing assistance to all our Veterans.

In the past, needs of Veterans and their families in communities have been more around the mechanics of medical, dental and homecare and even issues from aging and financial need.  Our critical outreach to these Veterans has been handled with grace and compassion by our volunteer Branch Service Officers and the important funds from Poppy campaigns in communities.  The Legion is very proud of this legacy of service.

While the Service Bureau and Veterans Care are cornerstone pillars and the strength of the Legion since 1926, there are challenges today such as the downsizing of Veterans Affairs with the closing of district offices across the country and the transition to electronic self-service tools.  There is an increasing number of Veterans and family members coming forward with challenging cases and a greater need to reach out to reservists given their high operational tempo over the last several years supporting deployed CF operations.  The Legion is seeing a change in the needs of some of our younger Veterans.  This is the age group from early 20’s onward.  Many have invisible wounds and challenges with their transition back to civilian life.  Our experience from the Veterans’ Transition Program provides evidence that some Veterans and their families feel isolated and need a welcome home in a very real way.  Sometimes we get lucky and the Veteran comes in to a Branch looking for help and other times, it is a family member or we must reach out to them.  The Branch Service Officer has an important role to make sure that these Veterans and their families are welcomed into our Branches and receive the support they need.  We are the largest and most established organization in the community and with the best ability to offer support to our Veterans and their families.

The District Veterans Affairs Officer comes to our Branch every three months.  Her next visit is in December;  specifically, Tuesday, Dec. 17th at 9:00 a.m.   Please contact your Branch Service Officer, Murray Roberts at 905-701-1638 to arrange to see her in order to discuss any issues that you may have or feel free to walk in..  Our Legion may be the next one ‘out-of-the-loop’ if we don’t make her visits worthwhile and there are many benefits and services out there that you may not be aware of.

Lynda Roberts, lynda.roberts243@gmail.com  
Public Relations Officer  
Branch 142, Dunnville