Friday, 14 November 2014

How many Canadians dead and wounded in wars across the years?

The National War Memorial
drew a big crowd.

Much has been written on honouring those who have served. I believe that the best way to honour those who gave their lives, is to show respect for those who return from combat, wounded in mind, body and spirit.

The government, rather than keeping these people under their wings, throw them out into society, now with lump-sum payments.  We know what happens to lottery winners, they spend it.

In 2006 the government changed the rules upon injury and/or discharge. In the old days, a vet who, for example, lost a limb could receive $4000 per month in pension. Now, the Disability Award is a tax-free payment of up to $298, 588 based on the extent of their wounds.

The House of Commons defence committee guess that of the 27,000 troops deployed to Afghanistan that about 3600 could have mental health issues upon their return. They thought about 1100 would have PTSD.

Since PTSD is one of the least reported issues veterans face, I wonder how they would know the numbers. With the rash of suicides by veterans (about a dozen by March, 2014), suicide by cop, and those with PTSD, the cover-ups by the military, those who advocate think these numbers are low. A CTV journalist says it is a mystery.

Angry veterans launch ‘Anybody But Conservative’ (ABC) campaign to defeat Tories in upcoming election

They are upset and fighting back, and rightly so. If you cannot demonstrate you are wounded, especially with PTSD, where do you turn? They may not be in any position to self-advocate and they turn to self-medication, anything to relieve the pain. They may have sleep deprivation, physical pain, spiritual, mental and relationship issues, divorce and suicidal ideations are common. They may not be able to hold down a job or have any means of support.


  • Soldiers do not feel they have a problem or are afraid to come forward for fear they will be forced out of the military
  • A culture of ignorance in society still surrounds the mental health issue of PTSD & Occupational Stress Injury (OSI)
  • In a Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Study, out of a group of 3,154 regular force veterans, 90% reported at least one physical health condition diagnosed due to their service and half reported mental health issues 

  • Difficult adjustment to civilian life was experienced by 25% of Veterans. (Health and Well-being of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans: Findings from the 2013 Life After Service Survey )

  • 6% of this Regular Force group reported having thoughts of suicide

What needs to be done to help injured veterans? Here is one soldier’s perspective  Citizen Article

Wounded Warrior Park

Wounded Warriors Canada is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Armed Forces members – be they regular force
 or reservists – who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada. Currently, our primary focus is on mental health and, particularly, the staggering impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Overall, however, our mandate is to help any Veteran in need as they transition to civilian life.

Boer war (1899 -1902): 244 killed
Peacekeepers: 121 killed
Afghanistan:  158 killed

Here is some information students gathered from the Canadian Legion's publications.

World War I

Canadians Served
P.O.W. (Prisoner of War)
*including 4,518 women

World War II

Canadians Served
POW (Prisoner of War)
1,031,902 men
*including 49,963 women
*including 73 women
*including 19 women

 Korean War

Canadians Served
POW (Prisoner of War)

Gulf War

Canadians Served
POW (Prisoner of War)
* including 237 women
~Table by Andrew ~information from: Speaker's Guide and Fact Book: Royal Canadian Legion


Margaret Adamson said...

Thanks you for sharing this post with me. The Park of reflections sounds like a wonderful idea and place to remember those who have suffered in any way. Have a great weekend.

Cloudia said...

Too Many!

ALOHA from Honolulu
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

"Let silence take you to the core of life." ~Rumi

William Kendall said...

The government over the last few years has completely betrayed a covenant of trust with veterans that goes back to Borden's day. They proclaim themselves the best friend of soldiers, and treat them with contempt.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Indeed, the 'unseen' is so easy to ignore. Another meaningful post Jenn. Thank you. YAM xx