APRIL 8, 2009

We support them, so where are the troops?
       Manitobans are fighting. It’s a battle even the military can’t settle. But where is the military when we need them to serve the citizens of this province with the ongoing flood battle?
       My understanding of our military – and correct me if I’m wrong – is to defend and protect our country from harm’s way. Does the harm need to be violent? I wouldn’t think so.
       If people in Canada are in danger, whether it’s by rising floodwaters courtesy of Mother Nature or a terrorist attack courtesy of foreign boneheads, I think we should expect to see more of our men and women in uniform tasked with keeping our homes, our properties and our families safe.
       I won’t downplay the important role our troops play overseas. They are courageous people and they are doing something I can without a doubt say I would never be able to do. And while there is an alleged threat to Canada in those regions, the bigger and more immediate threat is happening in our own backyards – literally.
       The news footage shows us hundreds of volunteers filling, tossing and stacking sandbags. These are everyday citizens lending a helping hand to – for the most part – total strangers.
       It’s great the government offers up financial assistance (after the fact) during these tough times, but what about the assistance of a military we already finance? We have no problem sending out a massive jet to track down people lost in the Arctic, but what about people in southern Manitoba trapped in their houses surrounded by water?
       A threat is a threat whether it comes from people or nature. Or has the definition of “military” changed to have a violent connotation these days?
       The military presence needs to be stepped up until the waters recede.

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