Sloshed soldiers by the seashore

Government “decompression” program causes troops to waste their paychecks


Canadian soldiers on the way home from Afghanistan have a lot of distractions during their mandatory rest and relaxation period in Cyprus. The “Third-Location Decompression” program is meant to help troops grieve lost comrades, readjust to civilian life, and undergo post-traumatic stress counselling. But for many it’s just a five day trip to a resort where they can to get drunk, meet women and blow the $285 per month danger pay they’ve collected. European tourists have been complaining about the rowdy Canadians, and alcohol abuse has become such a problem that the military is considering imposing a two drink maximum for the first night soldiers are on the island.

Toronto Star

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Sloshed soldiers by the seashore

  1. I'd think they deserve a couple drink.

  2. Oh the horror, soldiers returning from 6-months in an armpit partying it up at a mediterranian resort island?!?!?! How dare they enjoy themselves!

    Seriously, what does the Toronto Star expect? Do they expect a bunch of soldiers serving in a dry (that means no booze) country with no women not to unwind in such a traditional manner? What do you think the fighting men in the past have done after touring? The attitude of the Toronto Star and those quoted in the article appalls me.

  3. Umm, have you guys hung out anywhere when one of these ships come to port? You might be enjoying your expensive european vacation, and boom, there are 20 military guys hooting at your wife?

    • Pause for a moment, and think of husbands of service personnel, back home. Would you rather have guys hooting at your wife or shooting at your wife? Pity your expensive european vacation may be inconvenienced, we really shouldn't allow that, should we?

    • Pause for a moment, and think of service personnel, and some of their husbands back home. Would you rather have guys hooting at your wife or shooting at your wife? Pity your expensive european vacation may be inconvenienced, we really shouldn't allow that, should we?

      • Not sure that that is really an either or option. If it really is one or the other, I guess I'll go for the 'hooting at my wife'.

        • the 'either / or' option is his right not to hear some hooting, versus a soldiers right to destress after being shot at, in the service of his/her country.

          • sorry Ed, I've read through the thread several times………and I've lost track of where you are going.

            Feel free to clarify if you wish, or continue on with more fruitful discussions elsewhere. Have a great evening.

      • No we shouldn't. They should be held to the same standards as everyone else, and believe me, they need more training.

        This goes for gang raping women in Afghanistan too.

        Military needs massive, massive, massive reform and reinvention. It creates psychotic people. Do you know many vets? I do – you don't come back the same that I agree. They do need to wind down and get help. Drinking isn't that option.

        And I do feel bad for what they go through – i think about it everytime i vote.

  4. What a bizarre fantasy story. What , I wonder does the Star think happens at cheap Cypriot resorts without Canadian troops? At least none of our troops are in hospital with second degree burns to the genitals because Greek girls in seaside bars do not appreciate Brit humour.

  5. I laughed when they made the point that they spent some of the money on jet skis and dune buggies. Oh, the horror! Imagine, spending money on vacation-type activites when on vacation! I also like how spending $1700 is equated to "financial ruin". They try and make the pitance top-up they got for their danger pay seem like all the money in the world, instead of the minor bonus that can and hell, should be spent however the soldier want!

    I can see the military brass wanting to cut down on the rowdiness a bit, but after serving in hell for 6 months, I have no problem with these guys having a nice blow-out party together. I laugh at the suggestion in this article that any of this is abnormal or unexpected.

  6. Typically Canadian. Rather than discipline individual soldiers who break laws or commit inappropriate acts while on leave, the military may impose a two drink maximum for everyone. Firstly this will just create a larger problem because none of the soldiers will adhere to this regulation and if the military cannot enforce the regulations they now have, or control the soldiers, how do they think making more rules is going to help.
    Secondly, the military supposedly has its own police and code of conduct with strict diciplinary action for infractions, what is wrong with this system?
    In Canada, because we hate dealing with issues we like to create new regulations on top of the ones we already aren't prepared to deal with. We see it every day, everywhere. To the military I say get some guts and control the soldiers who are a problem and let the others blow off some steam, they have earned it.

  7. The Canadian men and women who serve our country deserve a few days to return to normal life. My sister doesn't go overseas and risk life and limb for a few hundred dollars. She does it because she really believes she can be of service and YES, YES, YES, she and, I believe, all soldiers need that time to "decompress" and return to civilian life. Imagine living under the stress of combat conditions 24-hours a day while your coworkers are killed while performing their jobs. I was lucky to see my sister during an Easter break in service from Afganistan and it definitely took her a few days to "decompress" before she returned to being the happy, easy-going person I know and love.

  8. This is a highly deceptive photograph/caption. These soldiers are certainly in a guarded military environment, probably off duty and grabbing some pit time before the next patrol. Soldiers transitioning back home, or on leave, anywhere, would not have their weapons with them. Asleep? Drunk on the beach with their weapons lying about? Bull! Whoever is responsible for this bit of "journalism" should be fired

  9. Army/NavyAirForce personnel have seen and did alot of things in Afghanistan – some were told to go, some volunteered, some like the extra cash to help back home (believe me its not much for putting ones life and mind on the line), some like the thrill, some like to just serve – everyone has a different reason. Not all PARTY while in decompression, some just laugh, some cry, some lay under a tree, some reflect, some get mental health and yes some "heaven forbid" just get drunk! . Dont make this look like its a big hooligan fight night! Its not. Is it run properly – ? Some would say the military should completely run decompression without civilians? Maybe this would be good for the soldiers – ensuring some type of discipline is still enforced while letting the men and women (many whom have lost blood, sweat and tears for another country) come back to normality…..

  10. Oh, yes, I wish to god they had something like this after WW2 – those poor bastards came back and some NEVER go any type of mental help at all. They just simply returned with the demons still inside……. We need to look at history before making foolish comments with regard to decompression and mental health.