Reading Time:  3 Minutes


KAMLOOPS — It’s been a five-year wait for Scott Casey to read a hard copy of his new book, Ghostkeepers — a term he uses to describe the horrific memories he and his UN commrades still hold onto nearly 25 years after the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.
“We all harbour ghosts from that tour,” says Casey. “So it seems like a very fitting term in that we are ‘ghostkeepers.’ We can’t get rid of them. They’ll always be with us. We just have to deal with it.”
Casey, and many of his fellow UN peacekeepers, cope with some form of post-traumatic stress disorder thanks to that tour, which lasted two years from 1992 to 1994.
WATCH: Full report by Chad Klassen

He witnessed things many people could never even dream about, including a memory of a mother and her two children being shot in plain sight by a sniper.
Those kinds of stories are all in the book, as Casey hopes to reveal the grim realities of being on the frontlines.
“They’re heart-wrenching, but it’s the reality,” says “I don’t hold back, no. It was very difficult to write them. Some parts took me days and days to get a couple of paragraphs down, because I had to relive it over and over and over again. I hope that through that, I’ve created, as terrible as it sounds, I hope I’ve created a horrible portrait of what it was like.”
For casey, first under the impression he would be a peacekeeper for the United Nations, it took no time for that so-called ‘peaceful’ mission to turn violent.
“When you’re being shot at, and you know you have to return fire, that whole image of peacekeeping goes right out the window. You are now in a tactical situation, and you deal with it accordingly.”
But that combat experience had devastating effects on Casey and his fellow peacekeepers. Every member of the group has PTSD, some who go through insufferable pain they simply cannot deal with.
Casey has lost a dozen comrades since the tour.
“I dedicate the book to my dear friend Rick Lougheed. He was known as ‘Ranger.’ He took his life in 1999,” he says. “It devastated all of us, because he was such a solid and caring and loving guy.”
In the years it took him to write the book, Casey says it was difficult digging up all the painful memories, including the suicides and suffering that followed the tour.
But he also says putting those memories on paper was therapeutic.
“Through the repetitive storytelling to myself, it definitely helped me deal with it, because I had to face each event continuously until I got it down. So it was very cathartic in that regard.”
Casey hopes through this book, people gain an appreciation for what soldiers go through. He also hopes other soldiers who read it can start on their path to healing.
“The story will let guys know they can come forward,” says Casey. “There’s more to your life than your military career, and if it means leaving it to survive, then make the call. Break the silence and save yourself. We’re here as brothers to take care of each other.”

excerpt from Scotts book GHOSTKEEPERS,
It was a Nation exploding into civil war. In 1992, the collapse of the former Yugoslavia triggered an international armed conflict that would last more than 3 years and eventually see nearly 100,000 people killed. Canadians were thrown into what was declared a peacekeeping mission, but it wasn’t. They were going well beyond the rules of engagement that were provided by the UN. Told by Scott Casey, Former Canadian Peacekeeper.


Reading Time:  1 Minute


In 2011, a group of concerned Canadians formed the Equitas Disabled Soldiers Funding Society (Equitas Society – meaning ”Equality”), incorporated pursuant to the Laws of British Columbia, in order to provide these services to our disabled soldiers.
a) To raise the awareness of the reduced disability benefits provided to our disabled Canadian soldiers as result of the 2006 New Veterans Charter,
b) To raise the funds necessary to pay for the legal disbursement costs of the disabled soldiers who have retained the law firm, Miller Thomson, to address their reduced disability benefits in the courts.

The law firm Miller Thomson has agreed to represent, pro bono, disabled soldiers with settlements under the New Veterans Charter. On October 30, 2012 Miller Thomson filed in the BC Supreme Court an application to certify a Class Action Law Suit for disabled soldiers who have received low settlements under the New Veterans Charter. Equitas has signed an agreement with Miller Thomson requiring Equitas to provide all the legal action disbursement costs (eg: doctor’s medical report fees, court fees, etc) – estimated initially at $100,000.00
– See more at:


Reading Time:  3 Minutes

Master Warrant Officer (MWO) (Retired) Barry Westholm, CD joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1982 as a member of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME).

He remained with RCEME until 2009 when he applied for, and was accepted to, a senior position within the newly formed Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) as the Regional MWO and Sergeant Major of JPSU Eastern Ontario Region. The JPSU was designed to be the CAF’s response to a requirement for consolidated support for ill and injured CAF members and their families while serving, transitioning or released (veterans).

As a founding member of the JPSU, MWO Westholm bore witness to the JPSU’s development from inception in 2009 to 2013 as the Regional MWO/Sergeant Major of the JPSU’s most populous Region, one supporting 500 personnel over an area of 5000 sq/km. As the initial inadequacies of the JPSU became apparent, and new challenges appeared on the horizon, MWO Westholm provided a strong voice to take early corrective measures, however by 2013, the JPSU had descended to a point where control of the unit and proper support of the injured and ill posted to the JPSU became impossible.

In February 2013, MWO Westholm resigned in protest from the CAF to bring attention to a tragedy developing in the JPSU. This tragedy was regarding the JPSUs increasing inability to provide satisfactory support to injured and ill members and their families.

From 2013 until the present time, MWO (ret’d) Westholm petitioned the CAF, the CAF Ombudsman, Members of Parliament, the Canadian Senate, media and others in an attempt to bring attention and assistance to the JPSU and the persons it was meant to support.

In his role as an advocate, MWO (ret’d) Westholm uses his military training and experience to provide one-on-one counselling, support and guidance to serving and released military members and their families. He often liaises between injured members, military families and larger organizations (such as Veterans’s Affairs Canada (VAC), the CAF and various Provincial Institutions) and most recently as a witness on the Standing Committee for Veterans Affairs.

MWO (ret’d) Westholm accumulated a diverse range of technological, field, deployment, leadership and operational experience – he deployed on several missions to include:

NATO (W-Germany) 1987- 91.
United Nations, Operation Marquis (Cambodia) 1992.
United Nations, Operation Cauldron (Haiti) 1995.
Disaster Assistance Response Team, Operation Central (Honduras) 1998.
Aid to Civilian Powers, Operation Recuperation (Ontario) 1998.
Canadian/New Zealand Military Exchange – CANZEX (New Zealand) 1999.
United Nations, Operation Danaca (Syria) 2006.

He also had an equally diverse postings to include:

RCEME (Land) – Field: 4 Combat Engineer Regiment.
RCEME (Land) – Combat Service Support: 2 Service Battalion.
RCEME (Combat) – Airborne: Canadian Airborne Regiment.
RCEME (Air) – Air Force: 427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.
RCEME (Strategic) – NORAD: CFB North Bay.
CMP (Casualty Support) – JPSU: Garrison Petawawa.

In 2012 MWO (ret’d) Westholm received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work with Soldier On, a CAF organization promoting recovery through specialized sports for ill and injured soldiers, sailors, airmen and women.