Monday, May 28, 2007

Get KIA? Your family gets $4675

As our American friends mark Memorial Day, a sobering story about our Canadian military -- or rather the lack of respect for it. Even though the average funeral these days runs about $10,000 the families of service persons killed in the line of duty the stipend paid out for a military memorial service is just $4675.

So far since 9/11, 55 soldiers and one diplomat have been killed. They weren't forced to go in a draft. They volunteered for service knowing full well they might be called into action doing the thankless task the rest of us don't want to do or can't be bothered with. And so no matter whether we support the mission in Afghanistan or we don't, the troops deserve our thanks as well as our prayers.

The allowance hasn't changed in quite some time. Don't military families deserve better in times of mourning? Moreover, don't they deserve better housing and better assistance overall while their family members serve overseas or in the United States? Making their income tax free for tours of duty simply isn't enough.

Harper wants a stronger military -- and I actually agree with that, our forces have anemic equipment at best. But better equipment isn't enough. Our men and women in uniform deserve mo' money -- in life and, God forbid, in death.

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