By Jensen, Randy on April 14, 2020.
While the Lethbridge General Stewart Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion remains closed to both members and to the public at this time, the Legion’s executive remains committed to helping isolated and vulnerable veterans the best way it can during the COVID-19 crisis.
Lethbridge Legion president Michael Cormican has been working closely with the branch’s service officer Wayne King to reach out to vulnerable veterans, many of whom are elderly, to ensure they are getting the supports they need at this difficult time.
“What we have done is keep up with our usual veterans on the phone every week or two,” he says. “So far they all seem very positive and most are understanding of the situation. They are grateful we are staying in touch and making sure they are OK. We are calling to give them some moral support, and so they can be sure we haven’t forgotten about them.”
Most understand the need to self-isolate, says Cormican, but some are still having a hard time adjusting to it; especially because several have become accustomed to in-person visits from Legion’s service officer and other Legion members on a semi-regular basis.
Cormican wants to encourage all veterans and seniors in the community to think about the risks to their health from the current pandemic and listen to health authorities by remaining in their homes as much as they can until things get better.
“A significant number of Legion members are older,” he explains, “and whether we like it or not once you are at 60 years old and onward we are all in the compromised category. Of course that depends on our state of health as well, and we’re even moreso if our state of health is compromised. So staying home is just the best bet at this point for many of us.”
Cormican reminds local veterans that the Lethbridge Legion does have an emergency fund to help those confronting difficult economic circumstances.
Those needing this type of support are encouraged to call the branch’s service officer at 403-330-6666. Cormican says those in need of some moral support and perhaps some errand-running support as they self-isolate can call him at 403-381-7635.
These supports are available to all veterans, says Cormican, and not just to Royal Canadian Legion members.
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