We have been told by many former members of the Canadian Armed Forces that they do not identify as a “Veteran”, rather they view the term “Veteran” as referring to the brave men and women who served during world wars.
Rather than being exclusionary, we believe the term Veteran to an all-inclusive term.
Here is how Veterans Affairs Canada describes the use of the term:
Definition of a Veteran
Any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who successfully underwent basic training and is honourably released.
When people think of Veterans, many immediately picture someone who served in the First World War, Second World War or the Korean War. While many Canadians recognize these traditional Veterans, the same may not always be true for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans—those who served Canada since the Korean War.
In fact, some former CAF members don’t even see themselves as Veterans. Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) wants to change this and is working to ensure CAF Veterans receive the honour and recognition they have earned and so richly deserve.
VAC considers any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces who releases with an honourable discharge and who successfully underwent basic training to be a Veteran.
This Veteran status recognizes the risk CAF members assume by wearing the uniform and pledging allegiance. Canada’s modern-day Veterans are carrying on the traditions, values and legacy of wartime Veterans and all Canadians, especially our youth, should be aware of their accomplishments and sacrifices.
Please note that other criteria, in addition to Veteran status, are needed to qualify for services from the Department.