Veterans Issues /
Treatment of Veterans /
Veterans Mental Health Issues
Friday, 23 March 2012
My Letter To The Governor General-Commander and Chief
Monday, 5 March 2012
To the Governor General of Canada
From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Subject: DND / VAC / Privacy Issue Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 22:13:01 -0500
Your Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada: My name is Captain (R) Michael I. Cole. I retired from the military in 2007. The reason I retired was that, I could no longer follow the current leadership. The start of my issues with the Senior Officers are indicated in the attachment below.
Since you are the Commander and Chief of the Canadian Military, I must inform you of my current situation reference the documents signed on behalf of the Queen. The Department of National Defense claimed they could not be located anywhere. Because this legal document was lost, VAC denied my initial application for benefits.
I have been in a constant battle with DND and now VAC for over 15 years. During my struggle, I became so beaten down, I was given a 10% chance of living. I am sorry Sir that I have to bring this to your attention but, this endless battle must conclude.
With all due respect Sir, could you look into this. My old service number was R10 090 530. My VAC case number is K6705156 and I have yet to be given a file number for my Formal Complaint being handled by the Privacy Commission.
I was the pilot who had the privilege of flying the "Unknown Soldier" home from France to Canada. I have proudly served in many conflicts around the world on behalf of this country. The one thing I can't allow is the continued mistreatment of our injured Veterans. I always have and will continue to, be an honourable loyal and truthful, Officer.
I hope the brief summary (ATTACHMENT) of what is really going on out there, will be a helpful start for you as Commander and Chief.
About this person: Started in the Reserves in the early 80's. Flew the CP 121 Tracker on coastal patrol. Liked the military life so much that he joined the regular forces in the late 80's. He finished the year long Tutor Course in 3 months and was given a jet to fly to his Hercules Course, before his Grad Parade from Moose Jaw, Sask. In Trenton, this fellow excelled as a pilot. Quickly became an Aircraft Commander. His qualifications grew. They were: Tactical, Search and Rescue, Instrument Check Pilot, Squadron Flight Safety Officer, Chief Check Pilot, Special Operations and Chief of Squadron Standards.
This individual was not satisfied with just this, he wanted to do more. In the mid 90's he set out to create a fund raiser. This was all done on his own time and with his own money. Many companies and organizations thought the idea was a good one and signed on. Dignitaries, like former Canadian Generals' and even US politicians supported the idea. One person didn't. This person was of a Senior Rank to this guy. The fellow's career and jobs given suffered. Suspecting this Senior Officer was behind it, this guy followed the orders as written and finally submitted a formal complaint against this Senior Officer.
Now the story get's interesting. Through the miracles of military justice, this Senior Officer (yes, the same one who the formal complaint was submitted against) was put in charge of adjudicating whether he was guilty of the offence. To make sure that everything was above board, he employed he right hand person, the senior administrator to investigate and report their findings to him. He of course was this administrators boss so that would not be a problem either.
So: let us re-cap. A Senior Officer had a formal complaint filed against him. He puts himself in charge of adjudicating this same complaint. He hires someone under his direct command to investigate for him. Clear yet? Wait it get's better! I realize that this will come as a shocker to you but amazingly this Senior Officer who had the formal complaint filed against him, as his own Judge, found himself not guilty. He would not give himself any punishment or reprimand. He sure was a lucky guy not finding himself guilty. I'm sure it was real close. I'm sure you do too.
Although this poor fellow had done nothing wrong but try and do a fund raiser, his job situation got worse. Thinking to himself and carefully studying the orders as written, YOU CAN"T ADJUDICATE YOURSELF. Kind of common sense don't you think? The orders agreed with this thought too. This fellow therefore went forward with his complaint to the next higher ranking officer, in accordance with the orders. Hold on to your hat! You are about to get another shock. The next higher ranking officer who reviewed the case saw nothing was done wrong. I can just imagine now that this poor guy has scratched his head so much in disbelief that he should be damn near bald by now.
Quickly moving forward in time, the top General in the CF, the Chief of Defense Staff, wrote an Open Letter to the troops regarding these sort of things. Somehow, this guys complaint and subsequent investigations ended up on the CDS's desk. Finally someone could really do something. This little junior officer had to argue his own case to the top General and present it himself. Now I may be strong but the intensity, stress, anxiety of putting your whole moral character, job, financial security and pension on the line, must have been unbelievable. To make a long story longer, he won. This means in military terms that, he continued to get the shaft and that other senior officer, the one who adjudicated himself in violation of orders, got promoted. Not just once, he got promoted all the way to the top levels of the military. Now that should say something about the military justice system.
So, another re-cap: Person who filed a formal complaint, wins but continues to get the shaft. Senior officer who directly violated the orders as written, gets promoted several times to the top ranks. Sounds fair? Not yet it doesn't. It get's even better.
Having to continue to work and fly, which is stressful enough, this fellow slipped deeper and deeper into depression. Finally he couldn't take it anymore and retired in disgust. He started drinking and finally ended up in hospital with a 10% chance to live. Somehow he made it through. He realized that the cause of all his depression and anxiety was initiated by his complaint and it's outcome. He sought help. There are angels out there and lucky for this guy they came along at just the right time. They were the untainted ones at the bottom of the VAC food chain.
Having been through hell, this guy thought that it was only right that VAC help him with his depression. When this guy won his earlier complaint against this Senior Officer, he had to sign an agreement between himself and the Government of Canada on Behalf of the Queen. He could not speak of this agreement/complaint unless it had pension implications.
The response back from VAC reference his claim came back stating: NO. Not sufficient information to justify the claim. Now hearing this, the guy became even more depressed but, he could now appeal and go forward. He informed the Bureau of Pension Advocates and asked for help. Nine months later, this guy gets informed that his case is too hot to handle. He now must file his own Departmental Review. He supplied VAC with over 100 pages of documentation substantiating his claim. He finally won. I wish that was it, but there is more ahead for this poor guy.
He applied to the Privacy Personnel at DND about the documents such as; The letter to him from Canada's top General and this agreement between him and the Government on Behalf of the Queen. They didn't exist, was their response. If they didn't exist, then he couldn't use them for his case with VAC. Such a shame. The poor military member. If it did actually happen as he said, then where is the paperwork? DND didn't have a clue. These type of insignificant documents such as those from Canada's top General and Government documents on behalf of the Queen are always going missing, aren't they?
So, Re-cap again: Highly qualified military pilot, quits military out of disgust. Develops severe depression and anxiety. He almost dies. Files a VAC claim. DND can't find paperwork that this guy claims is there. VAC claim denied due to lack of evidence (insignificant papers lost - 1 from top General and 1 from Queen).
This story isn't even warming up yet. It is funny to hear reporters say that when they do any story about the military, they get inundated with calls. Welcome to the club. Sorry for taking so much of your time but there is just a little more. As I said before, after this fellow had to file his own Departmental review, he won. He got what is called a Decision Date.
Definition of Decision Date: The date at which you produce the documentation that DND said didn't exist. You compile a written explanation to them even a child could understand. They have delayed your claim as long as possible until there is absolutely no way they can say you have lied. That's right, you heard it here first. VAC assumes you are lying about your injuries until you prove to them that it was caused by your service. Once they can't delay you anymore, they give you your Decision Date. The date at which they state you are not lying to them. This has nothing to do with the date you filed your claim. You were lying back then. The Decision Date is the date they can't disprove your case. Sad and Shameful.