VAC Definition of a Veteran – When people think of Veterans, many immediately picture someone who served in the First World War, Second World War or the Korean War. While many Canadians recognize these traditional Veterans, the same may not always be true for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans – those who served Canada since the Korean War. In fact, some former CAF members don’t even see themselves as Veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) wants to change this and is working to ensure CAF Veterans receive the honour and recognition they have earned and so richly deserve. VAC considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran. This Veteran status recognizes the risk CAF members assume by wearing the uniform and pledging allegiance. Canada’s modern-day Veterans are carrying on the traditions, values, and legacy of wartime Veterans, and all Canadians, especially our youth, should be aware of their accomplishments and sacrifices.
Please note that other criteria, in addition to Veteran status, are needed to qualify for services from the Department.
Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) – (Detailed services explanation with contact info)
(Phone 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free) Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, local time)
VAC Programme and Services Publications (Comprehensive explanations)
CAF Military Pension (For any CAF pension issues or questions)
http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/fac-caf/accueil-home-eng.html (Phone 1‑800‑267‑0325)
Director of Casualty Support Management – The Guide to Benefits, Programs, and Services for Serving and Former Canadian Armed Forces Members and their Families
Royal Canadian Legion Service Officer Handbook (A useful explanations, definitions, and a compendium of pertinent info)
(local Legion Service Officer 250-381-3992 or toll free 1-866-381-3992)
Office of the Veteran’s Ombudsman (should you feel the system is failing you)
(Phone toll free 1-877-330-4343)
The Victoria Capital Region Seniors’ Services Directory (Useful guide to local services)
BC Senior Living Association (BCSLA) (highly respected organization that can help explain housing options)
National Association of Federal Retirees (a worthwhile advocacy and info group)
OPI: Rod Hughes