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To: VAC Stakeholder Community,

These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for our Veteran community. With the Taliban’s rapid advance across Afghanistan, it appears that the entire country could soon be under their control.

Given all it represents to so many of our Afghan Veterans, the fall of Kandahar will surely be particularly challenging. Having never worn the uniform, I know I will never be able to understand what so many of those who served there are grappling with.

As Minister, though, I want to provide some resources that I hope might be of use for those of you – and to those you serve – who might understandably be struggling with the situation in Afghanistan.

  • At Veterans Affairs, please know that the VAC Assistance Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Veterans, former RCMP members, families, and caregivers can call to speak with a mental health professional, free of charge, at 1-800-268-7708 (TDD/TTY: 1-800-567-5803.)
  • For those still serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, support is available to members and their families at each Canadian Forces Health Services centre across the country.
  • The Member Assistance Program also offers 24/7 confidential short-term counselling to members and their families, and can be reached at

1-800-268-7708 (TDD 1-800-567-5803.)

Because of what Canadians achieved in Afghanistan, lives have been changed, unquestionably, for the better. There are children who received medicine that allowed them to reach their teens when they otherwise wouldn’t have. There are now young women studying law, physics, and journalism at some of the world’s finest universities who would never have gotten that opportunity.

Time will tell us what those stories mean, but I choose to believe that the world will be better for them.

However this chapter in Afghanistan’s history ends, Canada will not forget the actions of the more than 40,000 of our remarkable men and women who served there – the stories of their sacrifice will outlast them.

Our kids and grandkids are going to learn about the Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the streets and poppy fields of Kandahar, just like they will about the ones who fought and gave their lives at Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach.

Their wars might be different, but their stories are fundamentally the same. They went off to serve their country, and they did all that was asked of them and more.

How our Afghanistan Veterans and their families will come to understand their sacrifices is surely not for me to say, but I can promise that Canada will remain forever grateful for their service.

Please take care, and thank you for the work you all continue to do in support of our Veterans and their families.


Lawrence MacAulay

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Due to COVID-19 most events have been cancelled.
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Last Updated: 21 Aug 2021

Legion members care deeply about supporting the men and women who serve this country and want to make a difference in the lives of Veterans, contribute to our communities, and Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our Country. When you join the Legion, you support the many services we offer to Veterans, serving military, RCMP, and their families.

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