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Canadian military cutting loose soldiers without secure supports: ombudsman

Soldiers returning from a medical mission in Sierra Leone wait for their medical assessments at the Ottawa International Airport on March 6, 2015.
Soldiers returning from a medical mission in Sierra Leone wait for their medical assessments at the Ottawa International Airport on March 6, 2015. The Canadian Press/Cole Burston

OTTAWA – Canada’s military ombudsman is calling on the armed forces to stop cutting loose ill and injured service members before they know what services and benefits the soldiers are getting from Veterans Affairs.

In a report released today, ombudsman Gary Walbourne says the military should keep those troops within the fold until their supports are secure.

It’s just one of a number of changes that Walbourne says would transform the transition system that ill and injured military personnel must pass through on their way back into civilian life.

READ MORE: Ombudsman maps transition system for ill, injured Canadian Forces soldiers

Ill and injured military personnel have called the process for accessing services and benefits when they are made to leave the Forces onerous and overly bureaucratic.

Complicating matters is the fact many end up being forced out of the military before their services and benefits are set up with Veterans Affairs.

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Walbourne says that causes huge stress on people who may already be struggling with physical and mental injuries.

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