Campaigner appeals for help for struggling war veterans
Bermuda’s role in the two world wars will be the topic of a presentation today that veterans’ advocate Carol Everson said might ruffle some feathers.
Ms Everson, among those who fought a lengthy campaign to secure veterans’ benefits for soldiers who served on the island rather than fighting overseas, is to speak from 6.30pm at the Bermuda National Library.
She told The Royal Gazette: “I will talk about Bermuda’s place in the wars — and I want to emphasise the role that Bermudian soldiers that who stayed on the island played, and how important it was.
“They were treated as if they were not even veterans afterward, for many years of discrimination.”
The plight of Black Bermudian veterans who were blocked from serving in combat overseas, and thus unable to access benefits, was not reversed until key legislation was passed in 2007.
Ms Everson, the welfare caseworker and secretary of the Bermuda Legion, said her presentation would be bolstered with documentary footage.
It comes as the Legion prepared to use part of the proceeds from the 2022 Remembrance Day poppy appeal to offer its third course training caregivers for the elderly this coming spring.
The charity for veterans and their widows highlighted the hardships faced by a dwindling population of increasingly elderly clients.
Ms Everson said expanding the insurance benefits for the elderly had “a knock-on effect for younger generations”.
“We have known families who have had to divert considerable time and care looking after elderly relatives, to such an extent that they cannot work themselves or have to have full-time carers.
“One family told me it was like being backed up against a brick wall, looking after a family member doing very poorly with a heart condition while his wife was developing dementia.
“The family’s resources were stretched to the limit. FutureCare’s definition of who deserves to have home care and who does not is very limited.”
Ms Everson said the elderly deserved subsidised help on high-cost items such as hearing aids, glasses and vision checks.
“Every one of the people who have given their lives to this island and brought up a family, and who are now trying to live out their days in comfort and without worry, is deserving.”
She said anyone aware of a struggling elderly veteran or widow should feel free to contact the Legion at 732-0100.
“Our mantra is that the last days of anyone left should be as full of love and care as the first.”