Friday, June 12, 2009

The Cost

The Star offers a dose of reality that the chest-beating armchair warmongers out there might want to think about.

Warrant Officer Roger Perrault is a career soldier and a highly-skilled combat engineer. He's also an Afghanistan veteran. He was there about three months. Then Perrault was hit by an IED -- if he wasn't built like a rhino, he would almost certainly have died -- and was shipped back home.

Perreault suffered a cracked tailbone and other damage to his spine, and underwent three surgeries in an Ottawa hospital. After one of the operations, an infection set in, [and] some organs showed signs of shutting down.

So there's chronic pain and permanent physical disability. But that's only part of the picture.

Perhaps the worst of his problems is post-traumatic stress disorder. [...] Interrupted sleep. Nightmares. Flashbacks. Sleep deprived, Perreault has had trouble remembering things told to him just two minutes earlier. [...] But his hair-trigger anger made the disorder impossible to ignore.

And the military takes care of its own, right? One big, loving, caring family?

[A] new system of compensating injured soldiers means Perreault gets not a cent for having post-traumatic stress disorder. His numerous other injuries maxed out allowable payout, leaving several injuries uncompensated. And the money he did get was paid in a lump sum, not in monthly instalments over time.

This wonderful system of compensation means that your compensation is capped -- no matter how injured you are.

So, armchair generals, this is the result of your war. This is the price that we, as a nation, are actually paying, and that we will continue to pay for a generation or more.

But don't worry. A yellow ribbon magnet and a red t-shirt on Fridays will make it all better. I mean, it's a lot easier than actually caring about our soldiers, isn't it?


thwap said...

How new is this compensation system?

How sincere is the CF about compensation for other problems after one has maxed-out the initial package?

Canada's military is pretty small and the amount of wounded are probably likewise small. There's no reason they shouldn't have all their expenses covered.

The Duck Man said...

We need a new law. It'll never pass with the Conservatives in power... and probably not with the Liberals either...

Anyone who supports the war, HAS to enlist. Put their lives where their mouths are. And if they refuse to enlist, they have to wear a standardized yellow uniform for the next ten years that says 'COWARD' on the front, and has chicken wings on the back.

Dave said...

It's actually far worse than the Star has revealed so far.

What it boils down to is that in order to be a "veteran" with continuing status you have to have emerged from either WWII or perhaps, but not definitively, Korea.

I'll be interested to read the next two entries into this.

M@ said...

Thwap -- those are some important questions and I'm going to try to get answers for them.

Dave -- I'm looking forward to the rest of the series too. But if you have any insight into this compensation system, please post it or e-mail it to me. Thanks.

Dave said...

I'll be posting more on this in the future. Right now I'm having an argument with calendars and clocks.

Oh yeah, when the system "pays you off" they require that you sign an undertaking. Ominous, what?