Bob Brommeland would like to dispel some of the myths about the Royal Canadian Legion.
“We are not just a bunch of old boys sitting around and drinking beer all the time,” explained Brommeland, Castlegar Robson Branch #170 treasurer and chairman of the local Poppy Campaign.
The Castlegar legion is very active in not just supporting veterans, but also supporting the local community.
Brommeland described the different roles the Legion plays, “Our primary objective is to support our veterans.” They define a veteran as anyone who has served or is serving in the Canadian Forces or law enforcement and border security personnel.
“We are really pushing to get the message out for veterans, especially the younger ones…. Come down and meet us, they are welcome, if any of them need assistance in anything, we are here for them.”
The Legion is best known for their annual poppy campaign which begins this week. The funds raised go entirely for the support of veterans and their families; no monies are used for buildings, wages, etc.
Last year the local branch raised over $12,000. The funds went to projects helping those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including outreach programs and companion dog programs. Also receiving funds was a veteran’s transition project that offers training and educational upgrades to help veterans with the transition back in to the civilian work force.
The have also invested in Cockrelle House, a home in Vancouver reaching out to homeless veterans to help them get their feet back on the ground.
The local legion is also known for its weekly meat draws held every Saturday. The money raised from the draws stays local and is used to support a variety of community groups and causes through grants.
Grants have been given to athletic and artistic endeavors as well as to organizations such as the Red Cross, Canadian Cancer Society and the Shriners.
The Castlegar Robson branch was established in 1942 and currently has about 230 members. Anyone who feels they would like to help support veterans and the local community is welcome to join.
Don’t get confused thinking spring has arrived when you see poppies showing up all over town this week; it is actually a thankful community, led by the Legionnaires, showing appreciation for those that have served our country.