I don’t have the words to adequately express my frustration and ongoing disappointment with the way our government is handling ill and injured soldiers and their families. I just saw the headline “Canadian Forces Drops Job Offer After He Tells Trudeau System is Failing Wounded Soldiers” and I was a little shocked that the Department of National Defence would actually offer a job to Ret. MWO Westholm. He has been very outspoken about the failings of the system that is supposed to care for ill and injured Vets. Perhaps they thought by having him on ‘their’ side he would change his tune. But after Westholm took the time to write letters of concern when yet another injured Vet died this summer, they decided he wasn’t right for the job. Really?
This is just another example of how they avoid the opportunity to make any real and positive change. If they are not able to look at where things have gone wrong (or even admit that things have gone wrong) then they are not able to move forward.
We need to be able to have a open and honest dialogue with people that have worked the front lines like Ret. MWO Westholm. I cannot think of a better person they could have invited to work on this massive project. He has literally dedicated his life to helping ill and injured and when that couldn’t happen within DND, he quit and continued to work on his own.
Now DND says he is not welcome because he criticized the system? The system that leadership has repeatedly said needs a revamp? I’m not sure who was on the hiring committee, but he has been publicly criticizing the system since resigning from a leadership role at the JPSU in 2013.
I completely agree with Westholm when he says “The focus is more on optics, making sure no one in the leadership is embarrassed” as quoted in the article.
As a wife of an injured Vet this makes me want to scream, and then cry. The fact that our government is willing to spend more energy on how things LOOK as opposed to how they actually WORK is infuriating and heartbreaking. Citizens need to be aware that millions of tax dollars are being spent on helping leadership avoid embarrassment versus getting to the heart of the issues and deal with the messy reality. That would require admitting that people are suffering, people dying, and families are truly the invisible casualties. Whether is PTSD or physical injuries, thousands of Vets have a wide range of complex and chronic issues that are being compounded by multiple unnecessary roadblocks set up by the system that claims to help them. So when the system doesn’t address their needs, and in many cases actually exacerbates the problems, everyone around the Vet suffers too.
Please tell me that avoiding embarrassment is not more important than our military families wellbeing?