Veterans Information Service sponsored by Member of Parliament, Cheryl Gallant

On  Friday, November 7th our EDA President Geoffrey Roberts, together with Board Member June Anderson, and myself, attended in Petawawa, a seminar sponsored by Cheryl, our Member of Parliament.  It was a veterans information session, outlining programs available for returning veterans.

While 90% of veterans come home without any need from Veterans  Affairs, not all Veterans make a smooth transition and some become at-risk or homeless.  Our government has made a series of improvements to the Enhanced New Veterans Charter which provides a comprehensive suite of tools and help to meet their needs. Income replacement and other financial benefits assist veterans in their rehabilitation process.  In addition veterans and their families may benefit from a range of other programs offered by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence.      

Courageous Companions helps soldiers suffering from PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder) and other combat-related mental illnesses, free of charge, through the use of personal Service Dogs.  A Courageous Companions Service Dog is a very special animal with an immense amount of training put into the dogs – on average a dog will receive over 17,000 hours of time with one of the groups’ trainers.  The dogs are never left alone, they live with other animals (dogs, cats, horses, etc.).  Some dogs are donated by private breeder and some are selected from shelters.

Another program discussed at the meeting is The War Horse Project.

This program uses the nature of horses to reveal the skills required to rebuild, repair, and enhance the personal life and relationships of Forces members who have been adversely affected by trauma, a unique program that involves horses to facilitate physical, mental and emotional healing.  Why horses?  Horses reactions are responses to behaviors are similar to humans.  Horses do not offer unconditional anything until a balanced relationship is built. 

The War Horse Project enables forces members to first address their own mental health and well-being concerns by engaging in activities of self-discovery and self-regulation (in the equine arena) in a multiphase program.  The multiphase approach addresses issues for the entire family’s health and support needs.

The meeting’s final program spoke of an Adaptive Ski Program; a Sports Clinic for injured soldiers and Veterans that will be held in February next year, at Calabogie Peaks Resort. Accommodations and sporting related fees are free of charge.

All of these projects are free.  All you have to do is get yourself there.

The seminar was a enlightening session full of information that our return veterans have access to.  We are hugely appreciative for what our veterans are doing for us, for our country.  We should be truly thankful.

To honour the efforts of these non-profit organizations, a jewelry company is helping our soldiers who suffer from PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder.  Fifth Avenue Collection, which is now an international company, is selling Support Our Troops pins to help out the charity True Patriot Love. Cheryl and Gwen Greenbrook, with Fifth Avenue collection, came together and chose True Patriot Love because the charity helps out the local War Horse Project at the Vanderbrook Horse Farm in Laurention Valley. 

The pins cost $20.00 and one hundred percent of the sales goes to the charity.  Greenbrook says she is proud to be part of such a generous company.

So far over 800 pins have been either sold or ordered, so there has been a great response from the public.  We thank you for your continued support of our Veterans.


Christine McNaughton

Board of Directors, Communications

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke EDA