4 days ago, I issued a statement in relation to a new Canadian Heroes memorial van that we are going to put together for the Vernelli family. Since then we have recieved some feedback from people about this. It has always been my policy to not discuss any personal financial details of any of my Philanthropy and that will remain true in this regard. I have done this for several other individuals/groups/families over the years and will continue to do so. No one at any time has the right to demand to know what these financial arrangements are, it is a private matter between myself and them period. The Vernelli family will be making interest free monthly payments on the van till paid in full.
Over the years I have been blessed to meet many families of the fallen, and myself/staff and volunteers have become very close and dear friends with many, and that is something I am most grateful of.
A common thread though has appeared in that with the passing of a soldier, it has put an incredible amount of stress on the family left behind that unfortunately it has broken many of them apart creating great rifts that are very disturbing to all, and something that is heartbreaking for all to witness.
I have seen this so many times, like many family problems we ALL have, the loss of a loved one in a theatre of war challenges even the strongest of families.
The situation unfolding however is one of the most troubling I have seen as a Canadian in that some people have stooped so low that they have suggested that family members of the Vernelli's have no right to mourn the loss of their own.
No-one has the right to dicate to the family how they should act at this time, it is truly embarrassing.
As a person I dont pick sides in order to gain friendship, I am here for everyone, and will do anything I can in order to help them out.
People also need to remember that we cant be there for everyone and or know everyone unless they approach us first.
Reading some of the letters that the family and myself have recieved has also clearly shown that they have become so emotionally driven either to gather favour with an individual or to pick a side that one forgets all that is happening here is that the family wants to show and honour the loss of a loved one. When emotions and past events get in the way, our judgement on this matter gets clouded and we lose focus on the greater cause.
I would respectively ask everyone to respect the family and remind all that this is a private matter not to be lived over the internet and or in a public forum.
At the end of the day folks all we have is each other if we cant be here for each other and help each other out then the enemy has truly won.