Legion news

Read the latest news releases and articles from Dominion Command of The Royal Canadian Legion.

 

Free One-Year Legion Membership to Welcome Veterans

Jan 17, 2020
Canadian Veterans share what it's like to be a member of The Royal Canadian Legion. The Legion offers a one-year free membership for Veterans and still-serving CAF and RCMP members who have not yet joined the Legion.
A young male veteran with short brown hair stands in front of a Legion branch in the summertime. He is wearing a black t-shirt with the Legion logo on it and jeans. His arms are crossed and he is smiling for the camera.

The Legion has long helped those retiring from the military to transition to civilian life. Whether helping Veterans access care and benefits, referring Veterans to programs and supports, or providing opportunities to connect with other Veterans and get involved in their community, we are here to support those who have served and sacrificed.


While any Canadian can join the Legion, and every member is necessary for what we do, the Legion depends on our Veterans’ unique perspective to help us meet the needs of today’s Veterans and guide the Legion into the future.


We encourage all Veterans, including still serving or retired CAF and RCMP members, who have not yet joined the Legion, to sign up through our one-year free Veteran Welcome Program membership.


Many of our Veteran Legion members started their membership through our Veteran Welcome Program to get to know the organization and connect with other Veterans.  Many also transferred their membership to their local Legion Branch to help other Veterans, remember the Fallen, and run activities and events that support their community.


Are you a Canadian Veteran? We would love to have you on-board!


Sign up to The Royal Canadian Legion’s Veteran Welcome Program here: https://legion.ca/join-us/free-membership-caf-rcmp

Here are just a few Veteran stories about their experience as a Legion member:

A young Veteran Legion member dressed in his Legion uniform poses for the camera with his wife. They are indoors at a Royal Canadian Legion branch.

Kyle Scott:

I became a Legion member to advocate for veterans issues and hopefully prevent veterans from going through the frustrations I experienced when I released from the military and the years afterwards. 

I am also a fourth-generation Legion veteran going back to my great grandfather, a First World War Veteran. Since I joined, I have directly assisted dozens and dozens of veterans and families with anything from claims at Veterans Affairs, the initial issue of medals or replacement medals, headstones on loved one's graves through the last post fund. 

I have also successfully used poppy funds to pay rent, mortgages, and utilities when veterans were facing homelessness or eviction due to tough times.

We have directly provided food vouchers to stock their fridges when food was scarce, I recently helped a veteran through the leave the streets behind program after finding out a veteran was soon to be homeless through social media, we got her funds and secured her a new place to live.

I have helped veterans order and replace their service files and helped veterans receive their honourable release certificates. Some for the first time and some three decades later. 

There are so many more stories but this is a highlight of what I have been able to accomplish through joining the legion as a younger veteran. It has been an honour and I look forward to many more years."

 

Kim Driskell:

I joined my legion because I wanted to volunteer in my community doing something I believed in. As a Veteran this resonated with me, as a human it gave me joy. If you truly want to feel good about yourself, do something good for someone else.  


Daniel Beaudreau:

 As soon as I retired from the C.A.F., I moved with my family to a new area and missed the familiar comradeship I had in the service. I felt alone and that I should get involved in my community to meet like-minded people. I decided to join the Legion and contribute when possible to give back.


Veteran and Legion member Brandon stands for a photo outside the Legion with his two young children.

 

Brandon Gorham:

I received a warm welcome by the veterans and civilian members [at the Legion] and it felt like the home I was missing. It helped pull me out of my darkest [PTSD] symptoms, made me feel a part of the organization and family again.

On June 10, 2019, my Legion presented me with the Sacrifice Medal, among comrades and fellow vets. It was an honour to be recognized for all the pain and suffering that I went through and continue to go through, living with my sacrifice every day.

Being a part of this Legion branch and the great folks who are members have given me the courage to run for Sgt. at Arms, and the Service Officer position so that I can continue my work of being a veterans advocate, help speak and raise the concerns of those who cannot. 

The Legion helped me in my recovery and made me feel a part of something bigger than myself again; a chance to serve others...my oath to the nation or our brothers and sisters never ended when we took off our uniform, but the Legion has given me the courage and voice to serve once again.


John Greenfield:

I wanted to help other Veterans so I joined and became the service officer of Br178 Bowmanville Ontario and have assisted over 600 members apply for benefits and continue to do so.

 

Mary Ellen Godin:

I am a 27-year military veteran and I joined the Legion five years ago. I missed talking about the people and jobs I did in the military with fellow military veterans. I needed to reconnect with folks who understood what it was like to be in the military. I love helping the older veterans.

Our Legion gives so much back to the community and it is great being part of an organization that is there for the youth, seniors and everyone else in the community. I joined the Legion to give back to the community and to help any veteran that I can help.


Philip Paradis:

I joined in 1996 to be a part of remembrance. I had many relatives who all had served in both World Wars and Korea. I felt it was my responsibility to continue their memories somehow.

I am currently serving and want to be the change and help to continue making the Legion relevant long into the future.

So it all started as an act of remembrance like many and now it’s more to create that space that serving RCMP and CAF members, veterans and their families can always turn to.

 

Tom Joyes:

I joined the Legion when we moved to Goderich. I served with the P.P.C.L.I. My brother served with the Queens Own Rifles and both my parents served in the Navy in the Second World War. I love our Legion’s meat draws, great music, but most of all the friends I met. Young and old, male and female. I also love getting involved. I hand out all the event posters around town, help with the memorabilia, and help with the poppy drive. We have a great bunch of people that make Branch 109 one of the best Legions anywhere!!!


Mario Miller:

I am a veteran who served 12 years in the CAF, including UN missions such as Bosnia-Herzegovina. I joined the Legion for Poppies and I liked the atmosphere and the brotherhood of the people as associates and having "happy hour" with other brothers-in-arms. I enjoy helping fellow veterans as a service officer.

Today, I am able to make a difference with ex-military personnel who have served and sacrificed themselves, such as during missions in Afghanistan, to be able to think about their needs and to listen to them. We remember the soldiers who come to the Legion to visit and see what is going on inside and to seek comfort. To do that, there has to be a sense of togetherness in the place so that the veteran wants to come back. If I can help do that, then I consider my duty accomplished as a Legionnaire.

 

Ready to join?

Over 3,000 Canadian Veterans have taken advantage of the Legion’s Veterans Welcome Program.

Join them by signing up here: https://www.legion.ca/join-us/free-membership-caf-rcmp

After registering, you can transfer to your local Legion branch to get involved.

For more information on how the Legion supports Veterans visit: https://www.legion.ca/support-for-veterans