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Michel Drapeau Law Office

Michel Drapeau Law Office provides a wide range of services focused on federal law with emphasis on Military Law, Freedom of Information (access) and Privacy Law, Wills and Estates Law and Human Rights Law.

Le cabinet juridique Michel Drapeau propose une vaste gamme de services et se spécialise en droit fédéral canadien, notamment les droits militaire, la sécurité publique, ainsi que les droits de la personne, incluant les questions visant le harcèlement et les pratiques discriminatoires ainsi qu'en accès à l'information, le droit à la vie privée.

How our country is failing our veterans (Part I)

By Kevin Berry

November 2011

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By the start of 2010, with little support from the Canadian Government and VAC, my life was unraveling. I was unable to leave the office of the pub I was managing most nights due to panic attacks, and my dependence on alcohol to curb the anxiety, ease panic attacks, and just to get some nightmare-free sleep was growing. There was no history of alcohol or drug abuse in my life as I grew up. I was an athlete as a teenager, and had turned down several university football scholarships to join the Army. I was now smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day, drinking heavily, and doing my best to maintain a normal exterior in the face of my severe psychological issues.

At this time, I was engaged to a woman who, like me, had problems with alcohol abuse. As my control over my emotions and thoughts slipped away, I found myself angry and controlling in other areas of my life. Particularly this manifested in my relationship with my fiancé.

During one night of heavy drinking, my fiancé and I had a serious fight. The fight had been particularly vicious, and I had to leave to avoid becoming physical. I chose to leave and spend the night at a friend’s house. Returning the next day to the wreckage I had caused, I found her gone with friends, and I collapsed on the ground crying. I called VAC in tears and pleaded for help. Nobody had taken me seriously up until then. I still suspect they were hoping I would just go away. I poured my heart out to the counselor that picked up, and I had a meeting with him the next day. My fiancé came to the meeting, and the counselor advised me to quit my job, have faith, and VAC would take care of me. He even promised money in my account by the end of the week. He had no doubt in his mind that the blubbering mess before him had PTSD. I quit my job on May 21st, 2010, and have not worked since.

I have been actively discouraged to work by VAC. I live on the income provided by the Earnings Loss Benefit (ELB), a program offered by VAC under the New Veterans Charter which provides temporary income replacement for Veterans who cannot work due to their disability. The program is available for a 5-year term, which includes 2-years of approved post-secondary re-training of up to $20,000.00.

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