Wednesday, May 30, 2007

We Won't Be Needin' Dem Coffers

DOD - Ottawa
Strickly Confidential an Top Secret
My Oyes and Yer Oyes Only

CinC To MinDef1:

Minister Sir,

Due to all the flak that's starting to burst around the matter of our prearranged funeral expense stipend, I think we should be taking another look at the situation.

While the original intention - to dissuade personnel from getting themselves killed by offering economy funeral benefits- was an effective one, the instances arising now with grieving families wanting more, is presenting an image problem. If the original plan to have all casualties buried at Shilo, Manitoba would have been adapted, I don't think this would be happening. The idea of having a Warriors' Field in Ottawa was a purely political decision made without looking into cost ramerfications. Those Arlington-style cemetaries might be right up the PM's alley, but they're expensive to own and operate and shouldn't be coming out of the DND budget. The Forces 's in the business of killin', not dyin'.

I'm thinking it would look better if we could farm the operation out to a funeral home chain - the PM probably has some close support from that area - and that they could provide us with some 'economies of scale' for military funerals - particularly if we could get the Legion boys on board as joint customers.

I don't think much of your idea of stockpiling coffins. I realize some close relatives are in the business and that they're willing to trick them out in uniform colours or camouflage patterns, but
I think DND budgets are better spent on stuff for the living. If you can find somebody else to spring for them, like Culture and Recreation, of course we'd take them.

As far as those who are complaining that they've been forced to pay funeral costs, I intend to take some more firm and direct action and announce that this oversight will be addressed immediately, if not sooner, like the combat allowance thing a while back. I'll be able to make some good points about heroes dead in defence of our way of life, and the sacrifices being made to turn things around for the Pushtuns - the PM likes that, and if I can work any 'green' stuff into it, I will. A little huffin' an' puffin' will make the troops feel better, too.

So leave 'er to me, Minister, and carry on with the procuring you do so well,( no joke intended, sir).
We'll put this one to sleep the same way we put the Ki-bosh on the Kaiser, as we say in the military.

The CinC

PS: I think you should talk to the PM again about the Shilo thing.

It's close to his home base and will definitely make some work. Not only that, if we can use the burial grounds for training, we can sell it to the troops as being the 'foundation of tomorrow's army" - that would be a big hit. Besides it would leave the Ottawa spots for some senior warriors and not be fillin' it up with rank & file - maybe even a spot for a 'war minister or PM' eh? Just think of the pomp and circumstances, the pipes and drums, Willie McCrimmon and that Amazin Grace!

I don't think those guys in the PMO really thought her through. The missus tells me this was one of the best ideas I've had, and she has good taste, eh?

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