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Lynda Roberts

Branch 142, Dunnville

09 February 2014

Founded on the Need for Camaraderie and Support

The Legion and it's more than 320,000 members have a long tradition of Veterans helping Veterans. After WW1, Veterans identified a need to meet with other Veterans in an informal atmosphere. They wanted a place where they could go without fear of being judged or stigmatized and could relate with each other following their deployment experiences whether in Canada or overseas. In 1926, they realized the power in numbers and banded together to create The Royal Canadian Legion.

The challenges facing Veterans, both  Veterans, both while serving and after release, are widespread and have uniquely developed through the roles and responsibilities they take on while in service.  Some Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members may have suffered grave wounds, loss of colleagues and friends, operational stress injuries, mental health challenges and difficulties transitioning to civilian life.  These challenges are not new to our service men and can persist well beyond their years of service.  Yet it is from these challenges that the Legion was first formed in 1926 and to this day, it is the reason the Legion continues to help.  Together they formed an association where all Veterans could come together and advocate on each otherís behalf.  This is as true of the Legion today as it was in 1926.  It was founded on the need for Veterans to bring their collective voice forward and for it to be heard.  They came together because they fought together.

Often, one of the biggest challenges in the Veteran community is getting information and assistance to those who need it.  Our local Legion Branches are the boots-on-the-ground connection to Veterans and their families.  Now more than ever, we need to reach out to Veterans, their families and our communities.

There is a Branch Service Officer in more than 1460 branches across Canada who reach out to their local Veteran community, refer them to the services available to them and ultimately connect them to the visiting Veteransí Affairs representative.  Our members proactively reach out to the community at large and encourage Veterans to participate in public activities while welcoming all generations of Veterans into the fold.  Our newer Veterans can gain valuable insight and camaraderie from an older generation of Veterans and share in similar experiences across the years.  All are welcomed with open arms.  The Legion is a Veteranís extended military family because we understand Veterans and we care for them.

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