Canada's Wounded Warriors - Their Struggle at Home: Maclean's



    Airlifted out of Afghanistan, Canada's wounded warriors are waging a
    while new battle on the home front. Also in the issue of Maclean's
    hitting newsstands starting today: the thawing of Stephen Harper - how
    Tories are making nice

    TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - To date, more than 300 Canadian soldiers have
been wounded in Afghanistan - some in battle, some by accident. Nearly half -
136 - were so badly hurt they needed to be flown back to Canada. Few have
returned to work. For them, the war on terror proved to be much more than a
six-month tour. Not since Korea has the country welcomed home so many injured
soldiers.
    "All the financial benefits," writes Maclean's senior writer Michael
Friscolanti, "and all the moral support will not change the fact that hundreds
of Canadian soldiers have been injured in Afghanistan - or that hundreds more
will be. In the end, it is up to them - and them alone - to heal." Every day,
all across the country, anonymous privates and captains and sergeants endure
the slow, monotonous grind of doctors' appointments and rehab sessions,
teaching themselves to walk again or write again or remember things as easily
as they once did. Some will see visible results, and then there will be those
determined few who come so excruciatingly close to recovery, only to be told -
thanks to a controversial new policy - that their careers are over.
    There was a time when the military would do its best to find spots for
wounded troops who still wanted to serve. "Not anymore," Friscolanti reports.
Last May, the Forces announced a new policy that will spell the end to many
careers - regardless of the soldier's wishes. According to the new rule, a
permanently injured soldier is only allowed to stay on the job for three more
years, and only in certain circumstances. After that, it's a medical
discharge. Read more in the issue of Maclean's hitting newsstands starting
today.

    A Tory makeover? The thawing of Stephen Harper

    There are two ways to think about election timing. One has to do mostly
with polling numbers, the other mainly with political instincts. For years
Stephen Harper looked like a man of icy calculation, very much the sort who
would go with the numbers. If that were still the case, the chances of the
Prime Minister triggering an election this spring, even with his lead in the
polls and his recent dominance of the federal agenda, would have to be
reckoned at no better than 50/50. But a different view of Harper is coming
into focus, one that casts him as less methodical, more intuitive. This new
go-for-broke Harper abruptly reverses tack on the environment or daringly
tables a motion to redefine the Québécois as a nation within Canada. He can
look relaxed, even mischievous, in the House of Commons. "And," writes
Maclean's Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes, "it's this revised Harper who might
just risk it all at the ballot box if it felt right, even if the pollsters
didn't see it that way." Read more in this week's Maclean's.

    About Maclean's:

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.9 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Jacqueline Segal, (416) 764-4125,
Jacqueline.segal@rci.rogers.com


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