With all due respect to the Milnet community, I do not wish to spark some variation on this age old pissing match but when it comes to ther RCL, I stand fast as a staunch proponent of their activities (be they nation-wide or community based).
Thanks for offering your perspective.
In the interest of spreading the goodwill of the RCL, I would invite the CF (active and retired) to examine their relationships with their local branches. From my perspective, the main reason why you guys (and gals) trash the RCl is because you no longer participate in the activities that we conduct on a regular basis.
And which activities would those be? Going to the Legion bar to listen to stories from WW2 and Korea vets that aren't there any more? I did some of that ten years ago. I don't see a point in going to the Legion as a place to chill out when there's a perfectly good Junior Ranks Club with people I relate a hell of a lot more to, much closer.
I took a look at the Edmonton-Kingsway branch website, and the events calendar reads off nothing of interest to me.
In the Vancouver region, the participation of the CF is non-existent apart from some individuals and cadet organizations. I find this particularily offensive when we are commemorating your services, yet your chain of command sees no reason to take part. There is always more to Remembrance than November 11th, yet you will be hard pressed to see anyone in CF dress take part in Vancouver unless they are collecting a paycheque.
And what exactly do you expect from them?
For current service personnel, iirc, all that's in Vancouver is a handful of personnel at the CFRC and a couple reserve units. You're surprised that they draw a paycheque? The only way it works is for the unit to coordinate their deployment to a given parade, and that's only legal if they're on the clock. Somebody drops on parade, they can get hurt. It's a liability issue.
For veteran personnel, such as my father, I don't see a need for you to question why they don't put on DEU's or Legion regalia and step in front of the crowd. My father never fit in with the crowd of WW2 or Korea vets and feels no need to be in front of the parade.
If the Legion wants to put non-vets out front, fine. I see a bunch of Knights of Columbus at West Ed, ok. I've never said anything disrespectful about either group's attendance.
As with any long term organization, the RCL is undergoing a rationalization of their functions and in the Lower Mainland and I would hazard the opinion that we are on the right track.
building new branches (PoCo, Burnaby, Port Moody, Steveston,etc.)
Housing more veterans (at affordable rates) in well kept properties (New Chelsea society)
offering rehab facilities to those in need of longer term care (Winch House, Vancouver)
supporting youth Track and Field and Cadet corps.
continuing scholarships and bursaries
Maintaining Remembrance duties and Memorials (new Vancouver Cenotaph, updates to New Westminster)
sponsoring community events (parades, Canada day, etc.)
I wouldn't know.
While the membership picture is not rosy across the country, it is up to the individual branches to make themselves relevant to todays modern Veterans and I would argue that the major obstacle to this modernization would be the almost complete lack of interest from todays Vets. Numbering somewhere near 40, 000+ individuals, the complement of Afg. veterans is sufficient to make a dramatic impact on the RCL and its' governance but yet you choose not to participate. (new blood brings new ideas)
I'd agree with other posters here.
Why should I be interested in trying to actively reform a RCL Branch to suit me, instead of an organization ostensibly dedicated to serving veterans seeking out how to suit my needs. I don't fit. My friends and family who are ex-CF don't fit. Ergo, we do something else.
With over two hundred thousand members, this horse can still kick and will continue to do so regardless of CF involvement or not. It would be nice if you folks decide to get involved but if not, it's no matter, as this civilian and countless others will continue to honour your service (whether or not the Candian Forces and its' members choose to recognize us and our valuable contribution to the fabric of Canadian society).
That last sentence grates the hell out of me. The Legion isn't without purpose, but it's got a dwindling purpose in my opinion. The care of aging vets is going by the wayside as they die off. The social venue provided for the same is important in staving off senility. But the dismissal of the fact that it's irrelevant to more recent vets, placing responsibility for that solely upon their shoulders, and expounding upon your "contribution to the fabric of Canadian society" despite our apparent lack of recognition is insulting.
It's not that the Legion hasn't done some good things, but when you're saying that we're just too dense to be a part of it (or to not be awed by its glory), it just maybe, maybe possible that you're off-base. A little bit.