OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec 11, 2012) - Today, the Veterans Ombudsman released a report entitled Honouring and Connecting with Canada''s Veterans: a National Veterans Identification Card, in which he recommends to the Minister of Veterans Affairs the formal recognition of former RCMP members as Veterans for commemorative purposes and the issuance of an official identification card for Canada''s Veterans.
Currently, Canada''s nearly 750,000 Veterans do not hold a common and widely recognized means of identifying themselves as Veterans. They hold no such document that acknowledges their service to Canada, for commemorative purposes or to access the care and services to which they are entitled. "A national Veterans identification card is a way to applaud the men and women who served, while offering them an effective resource that proves their status as Veterans when seeking benefits."
A national Veterans identification card would also allow Veterans Affairs Canada to identify and maintain contact with Canada''s Veterans, including those who are not currently its clients. This is critical to effective communications, intervention and planning for future needs.
"The members of the Veterans community in Canada are united by their service and commitment to Canada; this card would tangibly illustrate the strength that unites them and ensure that serving members are formally welcomed in that community when they retire or are medically released from the Canadian Forces or the RCMP."
In this report, the Ombudsman strongly recommends an amendment to the definition of the term veteran currently used for commemorative purposes so to formally include former RCMP members.
"Formally recognizing former RCMP members as Veterans is long over-due. These men and women have been protecting Canadians at home and abroad, with their military counterparts, for over a hundred years and they deserve the recognition."
The full report is available online at: www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/reports-rapports/identity-identite-11-2012-eng.cfm.