Edward Hillman, 38, is a Veteran of the Iraqi War. He was deployed overseas seven years ago and was hit with an Improvised Explosive Device that blew off his left leg. Since then, he has been trying to get financial assistance.
“I went to the DVA office in my hometown of Brandon just after I was discharged,” said Hillman. “When I asked what type of medical and financial coverage I could get to take care of myself in the future, I was told none.”
Mr. Hillman was suprised to say the least. When he asked why he was not eligible for aid, he was told that the military sent him over there to decimate Al-Qaeda; NOT to get injured.
“The lady who handles claims told me I should have been more careful. Everyone knows that there are IEDs everywhere and we should have driven more slowly or taken a different route,” he said. “I was absolutely flabbergasted!!!”
Mr. Hillman informed the DVA agent that IEDs are buried and cannot be seen. “Didn’t matter, she said. Apparently, if we had been in bed and been shot or bombed or something, then we would qualify, but not when we were out walking or driving.”
“I was hoping during this election campaign the Prime Minister might have some positive surprises up his sleeve for us Veterans like financial benefits, medical benefits…something like that, you know? Maybe even opening some of the closed offices.
Mr. Hillman stated that the last time he went to try and get help it was at a Service Canada office, “where they know squat about DVA matters. All they know is Canada Pension and Old Age Security. I had to fill out a three page form with my concerns and requests and then they mail it to the DVA somewhere.”
You know what the kicker really was?” he asked. “They wanted my phone number and email address. Seems the Prime Minister is coming through here on a campaign stop soon and they wanted injured veterans to be photographed with him. I can’t tell you what I told them; it wouldn’t be polite to be in a news publication.”
Photo: Ken Mist (CC BY 2.0)