Langley Advance view: Legions will look very different in the future

The Royal Canadian Legion's branches will evolve as society changes but they still have a role as long as Canada keeps making veterans.

Wags during the recent federal election suggested abolishing the Canadian Senate and using the millions saved to provide better benefits to Canada’s military veterans since they actually did work on behalf of this country. Ironically as veteran benefits have signficantly changed in recent years, so too have the fortunes of some branches of the Royal Canadian Legion.

With changes in technology that allow people to obtain information on veterans’ benefits and services easier than in the past, processes will move quicker. There still needs to be recognition that the psychological impacts of service can be as scaring as the medical. Ways are needed for those who share common experiences to come together. In that past that included legion branches but how vets use them have changed.

The Langley Branch 21 is one example. Despite downsizing in 2010 from its Eastleigh Crescent site to 56th Avenue, it could not sustain itself. This year the branch moved to an office complex with no lounge or entertainment facilities.

It all boils down to money. The Langley branch can’t afford to stay the same and command (basically head office) dictated that changes would be made.

It leaves local veterans without a place to gather and regain a sense of camaraderie, which is essential for the ongoing well-being of many of those who served our country and have since retired from service.

It’s a comment echoed by David Scrivens, a local military serviceman interviewed for our Remembrance Day feature. Scrivens noted the social aspect of legions is needed when people leave the military. Scrivens also drove home the point that the money raised by legion activities like the poppy fund are key to the well-being of many military-based families like his own.

No matter what we as individuals think about a particular battle or conflict and no matter how politicians play around with benefits, as long as Canada has sent soldiers to do a job, veterans will be created, we owe them and the legion has an important role.

Just Posted

Early morning fire at Langley City factory

Two-alarm fire at CKF Products

Incident at Langley gas station sends one to hospital

What appeared to be an exacto knife seen at scene

Spartans take silver at U SPORTS games

TWU women’s soccer team edged by Gee-Gees Sunday in Ottawa

Dog’s death on busy road raises fears

A hit and run by a large truck has a community concerned.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

5 to start your day

One left dead after Abbotsford shooting, touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield and more

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Northern California wildfire is deadliest in state history

Holding out slim hope as crews search for more fire dead; 42 already killed in blaze

Most Read