by Roseanne Dornan-THE HILL TIMES-February 13, 2012
Re: “Veterans Board responds to Bruyea,” (The Hill Times, Jan. 30, p. 8, by John Larlee, chairman of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board). My husband Steven Dornan, a veteran of both Bosnia and Afghanistan, was released medically from a very prestigious military career after serving 27 years. We both are in the process of healing after a very public and humiliating 10-year battle with Veterans Affairs Canada that almost destroyed us emotionally and financially.
After I had to stage a three-week sit-in in my Member of Parliament’s office, Conservative MP Greg Kerr, Steven was finally awarded a $619 monthly pension and full health-care benefits for the condition in which he was released; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Our government did not take responsibility for causing or aggravating his condition, but instead, threw the military under the bus and awarded a pension based on “medical mismanagement.”
Although all was settled almost a year ago, I still cannot think of the situation without feeling my throat close (a condition diagnosed as dysphonia) and I cannot discuss it without tears of anger and resentment flowing freely from my eyes.
In reality, I am still too fragile to be writing this letter and I freely admit I am nowhere near ready to jump back into the fight again.
However, I was compelled to help in this instance because there is so much wrong with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board that if I can contribute one good example of the incompetence and utter failures of this department, perhaps, I can still do my part.