The Legion and its more than 320,000 members have a long tradition of Veterans helping Veterans. After WWI, Veterans identified a need to meet with other Veterans in an informal atmosphere. They wanted a place where they could go without fear of being judged or stigmatized and could relate with each other following their deployment experiences whether in Canada or overseas. In 1926, they realized the power in numbers and banded together to create The Royal Canadian Legion.
The challenges facing Veterans, both while serving and after release, are widespread and have uniquely developed through the roles and responsibilities they take on while in service. Some Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and RCMP members may have suffered grave wounds, loss of colleagues and friends, operational stress injuries, mental health challenges, and difficulties transitioning to civilian life.
These challenges are not new to the CAF or RCMP and the challenges can persist well beyond their years of service. Yet it is from these challenges that the Legion was first formed in 1926… and to this day, it is the reason the Legion continues to help. The Legion started from a variety of disparate veterans associations who faced challenges obtaining the care and benefits their country had promised them. Together, they formed an association where all Veterans could come together and advocate on each other’s behalf. This is as true of the Legion today as it was in 1926. The Legion was founded on the need for Veterans to bring their collective voice forward and for it to be heard …they came together, because they fought together.
The Legion is not a medical clinic and we cannot provide therapeutic care. Our branches aren’t open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are not a professional counselling service. BUT we have experience and expertise to help guide you to the programs and services6 that will help. Most importantly, we care. There are so many challenges facing our Veterans… young and old. The Legion can help by connecting the generations of Veterans and police officers. We are a place where Veterans can gain strength, find comfort, and start to get the assistance they need.
We invite all Veterans to come visit your local Legion branch7 and see what we have to offer. All Veterans are welcome… whether from the Regular or Reserve Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, whether currently serving, retired or on medical leave, whether abled or disabled, whether fighting or hurting, whether with families or alone, whether young or old. You have a place in the Legion.
We are here to welcome you and your family.
We are here to offer a place all your own.
We are here to advocate for you.
We are here to support you.
We are here to help you get the help you need.
We are your extended military family.
Local Legion branches are individually operated, and each has their own ‘personality’ and culture. We encourage you to visit your local branch, introduce yourself and see how we can help. Connect with the branch Service Officer who will refer you to services. If you want to take a more active role in your branch, consider becoming a member8. Through membership you can add your voice to the policies and positions the Legion takes on issues that matter most to Veterans. Speak with a fellow Veteran or perhaps the Branch Service Officer and see for yourself what has made The Royal Canadian Legion an iconic cornerstone in most Canadian communities.
Visit us today! We welcome you. We support you.
The Royal Canadian Legion