For veterans who have served, it’s not an easy transition back to a normal civilian life. Many struggle with mental illness, finding jobs, and even homelessness.
A 2015 report by Employment and Social Development Canada estimates that there are 2,250 homeless veterans in Canada.
Many do not have money saved when they leave the Forces.
“A third of Canadian Force veterans have pensions, so it’s alarming that two-thirds do not. They actually need that extra income,” Mike Cooper , CEO of Commissionaires North Saskatchewan, said.
Don Field served for 25 years in the Air Force. He now works as a security guard for the Commissionaires in Saskatoon and is grateful for the work.
“It makes you feel viable again. You’re part of the community; you’re part of the workforce. It’s a good place to be,” the Cold War veteran said.
The Commissionaires is the largest private sector employer of Canadian veterans. Cooper hopes more companies follow suit when hiring.
“We have a bank of employees here that have huge potential when they first retire from the Canadian Forces or RCMP, and they would be very well served if they could identify key positions,” Field said.
“We have a lot of knowledge. It’s not just about being a soldier, an airman, or a sailor.”