Fearing Kate MacEachern: The Latest Canadian Military Blunder


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Kate MacEachern and helping others: not on the DND agenda, yet.

Canada’s continued neglect and abuse of our military personnel and veterans continues to enrage me. An epidemic of untreated PTSD has become a new normal. And until citizens compel the government to take responsibility for this neglect–and fix it–they will continue trying to get away with it.

Here’s the latest outrage:

OTTAWA — Less than a year after being lavishly and publicly praised by Defence Minister Peter MacKay for an arduous fundraising walk in aid of injured soldiers, a corporal says she has decided to leave the military after being ordered not to repeat the fundraiser again this summer.

Tank driver Cpl. Kate MacEachern, a member of the Armour School at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, walked 562 kilometres in full uniform and pack from Gagetown to Antigonish last summer in what she called her ‘Long Way Home Walk.’

She raised $20,000 for the military charity Soldier On.

DND says no to soldier’s walk to raise money for injured veterans.

This government seems to fear truth-tellers like Kate MacEachern, even and perhaps especially when they work selflessly and constructively to improve problems and the lives of others.

From the article, it sounds like the military establishment, and the militarism-loving Conservative government in Canada, supported MacEachern’s walk last year. But perhaps after the walk, there may have been a feeling that the military allowing a soldier to shine a spotlight on their neglect of people in need was enough to oppose the event this year, which is despicable, especially considering MacEachern’s motivations. See below.

If all this bothers you as much as it bothers me, here are some things you can do:

  1. Support Kate MacEachern’s walk halfway across Canada at the Military Minds site.
  2. Like the Facebook page and follow the walk.
  3. Don Nicholson was just shuffled into the position of Minister of Defence. Email him this article at rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca, letting him know that as a new minister/politician, he has an opportunity to put a fresh stamp of integrity on our nation by reversing the decision against Kate MacEachern’s walk AND begin the healing process of all the neglect and abuse of members and veterans from the Canadian Forces.
  4. Support Honour House, One in a Million fund and Hire Canadian Military initiatives.

Here’s some profound inspiration:

“One of the main values I learned from the army is that you never leave anyone behind,” she says. “But the more I opened my eyes the more I realized that a lot of people are being left behind. I signed a 25 year contract to serve my country, Queen and regiment. Until a month ago, I didn’t want to leave. It was honestly a devastating blow for me to have to make a decision between what I believe in and the uniform I wear because I thought they were the same thing. Finding out they aren’t the same thing is extremely hard so I had to walk away.”

MacEachern says she was moved to raise public awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental injuries after suffering a serious injury of her own at CFB Edmonton where she was thrown from a horse during a training exercise — a fact MacKay noted in his speech.

After a year’s physical recovery she was diagnosed with, and treated for, ‘non-combat PTSD’ — a condition she didn’t believe was overly serious until she suffered herself.

“I had pretty much bought into the stigma so many people have about PTSD,” she said. “You can shake it off, suck it up and soldier on. But it’s the complete opposite of the truth. And compared to people coming back from overseas, mine was mild.”

After recovering from her own injuries, MacEachern asked to be transferred to Gagetown to be closer to her family in Antigonish, Nova Scotia — a decision she now regrets.

“I started opening my eyes to what other people are going through and how much pain and struggle there is,” she said. “There comes a point where you have to make a conscious decision. Do you allow everything to keep happening and live with the consequences or do you try to make a difference?

MacEachern echoes the view of many critics who say that stigma against mental injury in the military is rampant and treatment facilities at some bases wholly inadequate.

“One thing I’ve learned over the past year,” she says, “is that having a fancy house or the latest model car and the biggest TV on the block means nothing if you can’t sleep at night knowing that you could have helped and didn’t.”

DND says no to soldier’s walk to raise money for injured veterans.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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42 thoughts on “Fearing Kate MacEachern: The Latest Canadian Military Blunder”

  1. What!? No update to reflect the actual facts of this story — that she actually had her release request in long before she even requested permission for leave and permission to attend the charity event? No data on her not even requesting leave until end-June for this (well outside the minimum 60 days notice all us other “normal” soldiers are required to submit for special and community related leave). So, she didn’t get treated “special” and that irritates her; so be it. She isn’t any more special than other soldiers are – she just complains publicly to the media about it in hopes to spin things her way and make the rest of us look like the big bad monster which is not the case at all!

    1. That’s interesting information you presented. If they are actual facts of the story, do you have a link for them that you could provide? I see some information related to it in the Ottawa Citizen piece linked from the story.

      And if I have any facts in my piece [or the Ottawa Citizen piece] that aren’t “actual facts”, can you let me know what they are?

      But I’m not sure who you think she is trying to make look like a big bad monster. Who is “the rest of us”?

      Also, what do you think of the cause she is promoting?

      Thanks!

      1. I agree Stephen,…who is”the rest of us”? Not those who suffer from this illness, that’s for sure. I’m leaving the forces on a medical for PTSD, and I think she is doing a great thing, for a great cause.

    2. I don’t know the personal details like when she had her release in and when she submitted her leave pass but I do know that there are not to many jobs that would let an employee have 45 paid days off. It’s not as cut and dry as “the big bad CF” raining on little ole Cpl MacEachern’s parade, Or the CF trying to ignore or hide the issue of PTSD. With that said, you should realize that for every legitimate case of PTSD there are probably 2 more illegitimate ones just trying to milk the system, because people diagnosed with PTSD do receive substantial benefits. This is where you can find the rules and policies, Canadian Forces Administrative Orders (CFAOs), Defense Administrative Orders Directives (DOAD) Queens Regulations and Orders (QR&Os)
      I do believe her heart is in the right place and it is a worthy cause, but I don’t think it’s so cut and dry the way the media is making it out to be.

        1. Just opinion but I’ve been in for 12 years and have seen it first hand for all sorts of other medical issues. I made a conservative guess.

  2. Incorrect facts: “a corporal says she has decided to leave the military after being ordered not to repeat the fundraiser again this summer.” Actuality: She submitted her request for Article 3b release (medical) long ago and knew what her medical release date would be (15 Aug) before she even requested permission to do the fundraiser — she is certainly most-misleading with her statements given to reporters.

    from another article (Global News – Yesterday –http://globalnews.ca/news/721326/n-b-soldier-leaving-military-job-for-ptsd-charity-walk/ ): ““The member initiated the release process prior to the request to participate in the charity event and is scheduled to release from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) later this year,” said Mélina Archambault, a Captain and Public Affairs assistant at the Department of National Defence.”

    As for her fundraising; good on her! The vast majority of CF soldiers are actively involved in charitable activities year-round. K2K, United Way, Soldier On, Big Brothers & Big Sisters etc etc. I have received Commendations myself for welfare & morale activities/events in support of troops.

    She infers, as does the article, that the big mean CF. Army, Gagetown, the CoC does not support these initiatives and that is simply 200% false. They certainly do. They simply did not support her last minute request to have 45 days off (with pay) when she failed to give proper notice just as everyone else has to do.

    As for PTSD, I have a brother (Infantry) and an ex-husband (also Infantry) who have both been diagnosed with PTSD. I have also had subordinates who suffer this devastating illness working for me in the past. Every single one of them would insist on being treated exactly like everyone else and not treated differently. That is exactly what happened in the case above.

  3. Both I and this Cpl draw our salaries from the taxpayers (ultimately). I’m paid to do a particular job, and she’s paid to do a particular job – in her case, it’s to drive a tank. Her duty is considered performed when she drives that damn tank as good as it can be driven. She is responsible to perform routine maintenance on that tank, and to train to improve her skills at driving, at tactical vehicle movement, and in maintaining her vehicle.

    That’s her job.

    She wants to walk across the country? For weeks on end? How much leave does she have? Because most soldiers at that rank have four weeks’ worth. Can one walk that distance in four weeks? Furthermore, is she doing it on her leave? Or is she expecting to be paid to not drive the tank?

    Now if she were doing this on her leave, or while on authorized leave without pay, that would be one thing. Is that the case? Who knows. The story doesn’t elaborate. It’s just the “big bad CF telling her no.”

    Maybe the CF needs her to do some tank driving or maintaining at that point in time, for an exercise, or collective unit training. You know, they need her to do her job.

    I’d like the CF to pay me to pursue my personal goals too. I’d rather bicycle across Canada than perform my military function. But the world (including the CF) doesn’t work that way.

    Now go drive your tank Corporal and quit airing your personal grievances in the media because the Chain of Command didn’t agree with you this time.

      1. What she is throwing a childish fit about is not about the reason behind the cause. PTSD is an extremely serious thing, and the DND is actually supporting their own that need the help. But what she is doing is just tarnishing the name of the military and this cause. I’m disgusted by this mess.

        She wants special favours for what?

        Do your job, do it properly and stop complaining because your job doesn’t hand you the world.

        We fundraise for charities at work too, but you know what? It’s done on our own time otherwise it’s BUSINESS.

        SHe needs to grow up and start acting like an adult.

        People are getting her childish behaviour confused with a wonderful cause. She is not the face of PTSD, she is not the head of the charity. She’s just someone that wanted a wicked amount of time off to support a charity, and now to beef up her retirement.

        Disgusted is all that I feel about her.

        1. i completely don’t agree that the dnd is supporting those that need help. check with the members and veterans who have been dangling without support and you’ll see how little dnd is doing.

          ultimately, this is yet another disappointing comment that says ptsd is important but ___________ is childish.

          overcoming the stigma and attacks that surround mental illness means engaging with this kind of attitude to get to a new level of social understanding.

          the whole “stop complaining” meme is part of the “walk it off” stigmatizing approach to mental health and advancing supports. and when it goes along with a mistaken belief that the dnd is actually supporting their own, it makes the credibility of this comment quite low.

          too bad.

  4. First how about we stop slamming this lady and lay out some facts.
    VL has made some strong statements with out proof , so unforitantly they are invalided here say. VL proof is key with out it you are just slamming someone trying to do something fantastic.
    Steve
    I wonder where you got your training to assume that one one out of three cases of PTSD ARE FALASE. Ouse to be as close minded as you where until my second tour coming back with a OSI. Also after losing two friends to PTSD this year I say like I said to VL although opinions are important with out facts they can be harmful I.e. you have painted a picture to the public that only 1 in 3 cases are true please before making a statement like this get the facts.
    Finally astute
    I have one word for you sports i have seen people get weeks off and trips all over the world to play sports for the military. How many exercises have members gotten off because they play for the base hockey team. so join a team ans I am sure you will get your wish for time off to ride your bike and unlike Kate you won’t have to raise a dime for a good cause. So the ,military will pay you to purse your personal goals. So go do what you do for the military and stop whining to the public

  5. To the author of this article. First off, in the eleven years I’ve served in the CF, I have never seen someone’s request to take an extended amount of leave approved at such short notice unless for compassionate reasons, such as a death in the family. Second, any information you need on the policies of leave, annual or otherwise can be found with a quick search of QR&Os (Queen’s Regulations and Orders) or CFAOs (Canadian Forces Administrative Orders) or DAODs (Defence Administrative Orders and Directives), all of which can be found online. I can tell you that, as a rule, we are entitled to twenty five days of paid annual leave per annum, on top of statutory, pre and post deployment, and other forms of leave, none of which could make up the 45 days Cpl. McEachern was asking for without permission from her chain of command or higher with considerable more notice than she is alleged to have given them. There is a divisional system, and nothing short of an emergency results in a decision overnight. Issues such as manpower, training and unit operations all take a toll on whether someone may or may not leave their unit for an extended period of time. I have seen people removed from the Nijmegan march because their unit could not afford to let them go. I have seen people unable to attend sanctioned Canadian Forces sporting tournaments for the same reason, although in both the aforementioned cases, the unit has done their best to accommodate. Sometimes, however it just cannot be done. This may or may not be the case with Cpl McEachern, I do not know. But I do suggest you contact the CFB Gagetown Public Affairs office to clear up some of the questions you have with regard to military procedure, I can, however provide you with a link, a government website available to the public that deals with your questions regarding releases from the military. It was found with a google search, of all things.

    1. Thanks!

      One thing I note in the comments here and in the Ottawa Citizen piece, is how many CF personnel get all sorts of funky leave for things like sports and more normal personal pursuits, compared to this activity, incorrectly called a hobby. Have you seen that kind of thing?

  6. “Funky leave”?

    No, i think you’d better take the traditional route of actually Talking to a Public Affairs officer from the base and they’ll answer that question and any others. Have you actually tried that yet? They’re very easy to get ahold of. Most bases websites provide their contact information. That way you would be better informed.

    1. I love how fast people are to shout down the military when a story like this comes up, especially when they only have half the story.
      Three years ago this soldier knew she was releasing. She decided to do a charity walk with very little notice last year and the military supported her, many people going out of their way to do so.
      SHE picked her release date for august. She can’t meet the medical requirements to remain a soldier, she knew her days were numbered.

      With a few months before the release date* she already picked* she springs this request on her employer for a month and a half off to pursue a personal goal.
      The military refuses so she tried to look like some kind of hero by(* lying and *) saying she’s quitting BECAUSE her request was denied? She was quitting all along.

      I challenge any of you to give your work 3 months notice that your quitting then ask for 45 days paid vacation to pursue a personal goal.
      If they say no would it be fair of you to tell the world your quitting because they wouldn’t give you time off?

      Hearts in the right place for Ptsd support but as a soldier she lacks integrity.
      This isn’t about the military not caring about its members or ptsd it’s about a soldier trying to squeeze extra time off before they release.
      She could have avoided this by doing her walk after her release and Not try to discredit the uniform of the people she’s trying to help.

      1. well, in the interest of full disclosure, i’ve been shouting down canadian militarism for some time now. i don’t like some of the political decisions on missions. i don’t like the CF’s insufficient attention to treating PTSD and the culture that continues to stigmatize mental health. all the while, members and veterans that i continue to meet continue to impress me as really stand-up folks.

        i understand the information you are providing. i wonder, however, how you claim to “know” the other half of the story. i got my information from a newspaper report, which [while corporate media often misses angles on stories] is generally reliable for fact checking at least. not to say there isn’t more to it, but if i’m to accept your half of the story, you’d need to demonstrate why it’s credible beyond opinion, rumour or something else. like some links to other sources of information.

        how do you know she was quitting all along? if you have a link to that data, can you include that?

        how do you know she was lying? calling someone a liar is a pretty bold statement. what happens to you if you can’t prove your assertion that she’s a liar?

        and saying she lacks integrity is based on the validity of the story you present. right now, you’d need to back up your facts to prove your story’s integrity.

        1. Stephen, I respect and appreciate the tone in which you post and reply to people on your blog. It’s refreshing, thank you.

          I was going to write a too-long response but I’ll post this article from Global news first and see what conclusions you draw.

          http://globalnews.ca/news/721326/n-b-soldier-leaving-military-job-for-ptsd-charity-walk/

          I’ll highlight some quotes with stars***

          “Cpl. Kate MacEachern wanted to do her second long distance walk to raise money for a charity that helps soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

          She said the military told her she had to make a choice.

          ***She chose to leave the army to support her fellow soldiers.*** ”

          But continues to say

          “She set her start date for Sept. 3.
          But, on Aug. 15, she’ll turn in her uniform.
          “When I sat down in the office and they said ‘No, we won’t support it. If you want to do it as a civilian, fill your boots.’ It hurt,” she said.

          ***“The member initiated the release process prior to the request to participate in the charity event*** and is scheduled to release from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) later this year,” said Mélina Archambault, a Captain and Public Affairs assistant at the Department of National Defence.

          So on one hand she is saying she is CHOOSING to leave the Canadian Forces in order to support fellow soldiers with PTSD etc. Sounds noble right?
          On the other hand she put in a request to release from the Canadian Forces BEFORE she even asked to attend this charity walk. Months before.

          Even if the Canadian Forces said “Sure! go right ahead take 45 days off and do this walk”, she would STILL be leaving the military on August 15th.

          1. thanks, same to you. not so much for lots of the other colourful personalities whose age-ist, sexist and insulting comments are in the trash.

            i’ve seen that global piece, yes.

            there does seem to be some irregularities in the sequence of events. but the irregularities are meshing with other bits i’m stumbling across. there appear to be other things going on than what has been in the media. and i’m now more uncertain that the CF’s characterization of events is complete/reliable.

  7. When you ask for proof Stephen, many of us, more in the know than you, must also ask you for the proof. You have posted this blog with what you believe to be facts, but in reality could all be a pack of lies perpetuated by a person who may have a vendetta of sorts against the Canadian Armed Forces. Perhaps this Cpl is a malcontent who has a very serious problem with a “sense of entitlement” so common amongst the younger generation. Those of us on the internet, who do not personally know her, will not know.
    Yes, her cause if well intended, but did she really conduct herself in the proper manner to achieve her aim? The military, like any other employer, likes to have notice well in advance of requests for Leave/vacation. As this story unfolds, we now hear that she had already submitted for Release from the military before all of this hit the news. This indicates that she was not truthful in her statements to the media, which has started this uproar. What else has she ‘conveniently’ omitted in her story from the reading public?
    Having a ‘good cause’ does not necessarily entitle you to paid time off from your employer, especially an employer like the military where proper protocols are required. Sorry, Stephen, but her being wrong and crying to the ill-informed ‘bleeding hearts’ of the public makes her even more in the wrong under the NDA, no matter how worthy the cause.

    PS. Many of the questions you have challenged posters to this blog with, should not be answered under Canadian Laws protecting personal privacy. You are aware of that?

    1. sure. anything is possible.

      i’ve based my piece on data in a newspaper report, which is likely to have been fact-checked, even though it’s quite possible it doesn’t relate all the data. based on my reading of the information and my ongoing knowledge of what the CF is and isn’t doing regarding ptsd, etc., i formed my opinion. if new information comes my way i’ll gladly amend my opinion if it’s warranted. in fact, since i posted this i’ve got lots new information about how CF personnel are taking all kinds of personal or morale-building leaves through a variety of procedural steps, some including very little notice, as it turns out.

      “could” and “perhaps” are useful words you’ve used. if you have information that show a vendetta or other things you accuse her of, feel free to post those links and reasonable people ought to consider that information. short of that, all you’re doing is expressing possibilities.

      i caution people, however in generalizing about an age group. that kind of stereotyping often undermines the power of their argument. i know plenty of baby boomers who have demonstrated all sorts of sense of entitlements. age-ism is counterproductive, though.

      can you let me know which questions i’ve posed would violate personal privacy?

      1. Basing your data on a newspaper report is an interesting statement. Newspapers, as we all know, are in the business of “selling newspapers”. In the process, the media edits what it presents. Perhaps a reporter got it wrong. Perhaps and editor edited the reporter’s piece and totally changed the nuances. There is much more to this story that many others and I question. Reading the submissions above, I see that you would prefer to wander through this with blinders on and accept at 100% the face value of the original news article.
        I have been reading other sources, and many questions are arising as to the legitimacy of those ‘facts’. I take it from your stance, that there can only be a ‘Government Conspiracy’ by the evil Canadian Armed Forces against this ‘poor Cpl’. What if is were the other way around and the real ‘villain’ in the matter was the ‘poor Cpl’ manipulating an agent of the media to fulfill her own agenda? Shall we wait and see?

        As for evidence that you have asked for information which may violate personal privacy:

        “Do you have a link to the information about the Article 3b release?”

        “how do you know she was quitting all along? if you have a link to that data, can you include that?”

        By your own admission, you have “been shouting down canadian militarism for some time now. i don’t like some of the political decisions on missions.” That is rather naïve. The Canadian military has no control on ‘Political decisions’, nor what missions it goes on. Those are all decided upon by the Canadian Government, the representatives of the Canadian People, not the whims of some military commanders in National Defence Headquarters. The Canadian military is under orders of the Canadian Government (the representatives of the Canadian people – you Stephen) when it partakes in any mission.

        Many of us have no qualms with a fight to help the Veterans. The biggest hurtle for Canadian Veterans is not the Military. It is the Canadian Government and Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Affairs seem to only consider the survivors of the two World Wars and Korean War as veterans, not the more recent survivors of UN Missions to places like Somalia, Bosnia, Cyprus, etc., NATO missions to places like Afghanistan, and other CAF missions, foreign and domestic. The Canadian military does not have any say in how the Department of Veterans Affairs conducts its business. If you really want a conspiracy, perhaps that is the direction you should be focusing your attention.

        1. i completely agree with how you characterize the corporate media. i accept nothing in the original article other than newspapers’ reputations are usually built on getting facts right. what the CF or individuals say to the media may not be reliable or the whole story, and the media may not report the whole story. i’m going with what i read and what i have seen subsequently, like any other consumer of news.

          the words i have used have never been “government conspiracy” or “evil CF” or “poor cpl.” other commenters have been using “big bad military,” though i haven’t. it is impolite to put words in other people’s mouths. my opinion that i wrote is that i think the CF took a certain action based on a certain motivation.

          regarding the privacy questions, this is exactly my point. i was asking because if someone is going to introduce new facts that aren’t in the public domain, how is the public to assess their credibility. that’s why i was asking for links. if the information is not public, why would anyone have it, why are they spouting it out in blog comment areas on the internet, and aren’t there any obligations for protecting people’s privacy?

          when i spoke about my opposition to canadian militarism, i was not talking about the military, but the militarization of canadian culture for political purposes. i have written in the past about how the military does not decide on which missions it goes on; that’s politicians. i have seen lots of honour and integrity in the CF, among friends in and retired from the CF, at RMC and in military communities around canada. so what’s your point about my opinions about canadian militarization?

          regarding your last paragraph, i almost completely agree. however, the CF could use some help addressing its culture of denial mental health issues. despite what general dallaire accomplished and those before and after him, the CF is not as healthy a culture as it could be.

          and again, i didn’t say conspiracy. you did.

  8. Question: How much did she actually collect in donations on the walk she made last year? Where are all the PR photos and media reports of her presenting that money to the Charity in question?

    1. Why dont you get ahold of her CoC and get the real facts of her release cause shes is giving you a load of BS no offence but your reliable source is full of BS as well no one wants to take away from her walk for PTSD cause it is a great cause and she has a huge heart! However she needs to come clean about her damn release and stop making the military out to be the bad guy and leading people on so she looks good!

  9. Have you done any research whatsoever, Mr. Elliot Buckley? Did you take my advice and call the PAFO?

  10. Mr Elliott-Buckley,

    With regards to your comment from July 18th at 2:03pm, you state that you have “based [your] piece on data in a newspaper report, which is likely to have been fact-checked, even though it’s quite possible it doesn’t relate all the data”.

    The media article that you took your data from is not guaranteed to have fact-checked their statements any more than your own article has been fact-checked. If someone else references your article on this subject and similarly assumes that you have fact-checked all of the information contained within, then we move another step down the path to potentially misleading information informing the Canadian public.

    As has been mentioned to you already, the Base Public Affairs office can provide you with fact-based information on the subject. It appears from your comments that you have reached out since you wrote the article, so I hope you find out the truth, whatever that may be, on the subject.

    CF members are permitted to speak to the media, however, they are restricted to only speak within their lanes of experience. They cannot speculate on events or truths, and they cannot pass on personal information about another CF member, even if they know it to be true. So, within some of the comments to your article, some people have made statements about the supposed facts concerning the release of the Cpl, and many have made comments about their experiences within the CF. When you ask them for proof to back up their statements, they can only point you in the direction of the Canadian Forces’ regulations and orders, or else face consequences for going further out of their lane of expertise.

    If you wish to obtain documents that will give you the facts on this member and the situation, my suggestion would be to utilize the resources available through the Access to Information Act for the Canadian Forces. http://www.admfincs-smafinsm.forces.gc.ca/aip/index-eng.asp

    Here you can make a request for this, or any other, information that you desire, including facts on PTSD statistics within the CF. Granted, it is not an immediate process, which will not help for your immediate needs for an article, however, what you get back will be factual.

    The struggle that the media faces is that in order to get their story out in a timely manner when the issue is relevant, they have to go with the information they can get in short order. As you know, the mainstream media does this through interviews (with members like the Cpl herself, or others who have rightly or wrongly spoken out on the matter), as well as through the released media lines and statements through the Public Affairs office. The issue with statements from people other than the Public Affairs Officer directly is that it is not guaranteed to be correct.

    I have certainly not personally read all of the media coverage on this story. It appears that the Cpl has made statements to the media, which is within her right as long as she is only speaking to what she has personally done. If she has lied in any way to the media (on details of her release, her request for leave, or otherwise), she can, and likely will, be held accountable for her actions.

    Will the media cover the ongoing details of this story as it unfolds? Perhaps, perhaps not. The big splashy headlines have already been made, and details or facts obtained weeks or months down the road may not have the same interest as the headlines saying that the CF does not support its members who want to raise money for a good cause. You, yourself, called it a “military blunder”.

    I haven’t seen a comment on your article that has negated the Cpl’s intentions to raise awareness for mental awareness within the CF. It appears that there is overwhelming support for the concept of raising awareness and funds for this worthy cause. The issue that appears to bother many of your readers enough to comment is that the human story behind this worthy cause is not as cut and dry as much of the media (including you) has made it out to be. Your commenters appear to be passionate about their experiences within the CF, just as the Cpl has been. Please respect their opinions just as you have supported those of Cpl MacEachern.

    I wish you luck in your continued quest to shed light and attention on mental illness within the CF. Hopefully, with future fact-based investigation and reporting you can make a positive difference on the subject.

    1. thanks for your comment.

      i am not a journalist or a reporter. i am an editorialist who works with information that is out there. i do virtually no independent research. i’ve written in other responses to comments about how i deal with new information. i encourage you to read those.

      i have discovered many other pieces of information. some of it is spin. some of it feels more credible. some of it is unverifiable. most of what i’ve seen from the CF has already been in the media. some of the rest i find dubious.

      i am saddened if people who have commented on this piece have violated privacies by sharing confidential information. those are unfortunate choices they have made. plus, they cannot be verified. i expect they may be held accountable if they violated policy.

  11. As the bumper sticker says, “If you don’t stand behind the troops, I dare you to stand if front of them — but either way you’ll get wasted because your a f’ing clueless civvie and don’t really matter.”

    If you think I’m “ungrateful” for their “sacrifice” , have you ever listened to soldiers talk about civilians when the cameras aren’t on – they are as bad as some of the police I know. Go to a CFB mess hall and grab a lunch, look up at the big TVs with CTVnews and TSN on, and then talk to a few soldiers. It’s an eye-opener.

    For a snap-shot of this mentality, pick-up General Hilliers’ book ‘A Soldier first (a civilian last)’, and read his sneering and whining at -everyone- except Canadian and American soldiers.

    Canada has not fought in a legal UN-sanctioned war since 1991, the last decade has been nothing but criminal invasions and bombings. The bloody defense of Kandahar was to free US troops for more Iraq slaughter (and the Americans still complained that Canadian soldiers there didn’t do enough).

    The heads of the DND are Fort Hood (Texas) grads, one them led a brigade in Iraq for an ‘exchange program’. Many are far more loyal to their US counter-parts than to the “pathetic civilian government.” And the Aryan ubermench in JFT2 are prima donnas to the point of silliness.

    NATO insures that no one is drafted, they all volunteered – except, perhaps, for the ‘poverty draft’ & those ‘groomed’ at an early age by pedophile-like recruiters.

    If you want to support the troops, have fun, but understand, for many soldiers, by being a civilian you have already proven you are not worthy of respect.

    If you really want to help the troops, help the American war-resisters that Canada keeps deporting back.

    1. it’s not wise to paint all military with the same brush. i’m sure many have broad levels of disrespect for all sorts of people, but i know a lot of current and retired CF personnel who have a pretty broad respect for the populace.

      have you got a link for your aryan ubermench in jtf2?

      helping war resisters is a great idea.

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