A Societal Malcontent with an Axe to grind against the Canadian Armed Forces

People often wonder why I don’t simply go see a counsellor for my issues. Or in the alternative they often suggest that my issues can’t be that serious as I’ve never sought help.
Welcome to the twisted life of a military dependent.

That is one of the questions that an investigator from the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service asked my brother in 2011 after I had made my complaint to the CFNIS in 2011 about the actions of the babysitter from 1978 until 1980.

The other thing the investigator asked my brother was if I had trouble holding down secure employment suggesting that maybe I had made my complaint against the babysitter as a way of making money.

I know of the existence of these two questions as I have certified copies of the 2011 investigation.

The point of this post is not to go over the 2011 investigation.

The point of this post is to illustrate how the Canadian Armed Forces have always blamed the victim.

Blaming the victim is nothing new for the Canadian Forces. You need to only look at the various reports commissioned by the Canadian Armed Forces over the years to understand that the Canadian Armed Forces have a significant issue with blaming the victim and that the Canadian Forces are very cognizant of the existence of this predisposition within the military community to blame the victim.

When a family member of P.S. found P.S. buggering me in the bedroom of his family’s military housing unit on base in late April early May I became a victim of sexual assault.

I would then also become a victim of the military’s attitude towards not only victims in general, but also the military’s attitude towards victims of male on male sexual abuse.

After being found in P.S.’s bedroom, I was told to go home. I lived right across the street from the P.S. family house. I lived in PMQ #11 – 12th street, he lived at PMQ #26 – 12th street.

I didn’t make it across the street before getting the shit beat out of me by a bunch of kids who were between 12 to 18. Remember, I would have been 8. P.S. was just weeks shy of his 15th birthday.

According to military records, the base military were coincidentally conducting an investigation into P.S. around the same time due to the numerous complaints that the military police had received about P.S. behaving improperly around young children. I don’t have the start date of this investigation, but I have no doubt that it was P.S. being found with me that started the ball rolling.

P.S. and I would have two very different tangents in life.

P.S. would go on to be convicted in civilian courts between 1982 and 1985 for molesting children.

When I spoke with the father of P.S. in July of 2015, P.S. was living in his father’s home. J.S. is the father of P.S.. J.S. had just had a leg amputated due to diabetes and he needed P.S. to be at home to help him with his care. P.S. at the time was facing trial for two counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.

J.S. had apparently supported his son from 1980 onwards as he view his son as the true victim of Captain McRae.

In 1980 the Canadian Armed Forces needed ONE victim and one victim only. And that was P.S.

The rest of us kids, which according to J.S. was known to be over 25 children molested by both McRae and P.S., were not allowed to be victims.

My father wasn’t around at the time I was found in P.S.’s bedroom in late April or early May of 1980. My father did move back in with us in August of 1980. He brought his girlfriend Sue to live with us.

The start of the school year was an absolute disaster. Not a day would go by that I wasn’t taunted or teased or beat up for being a fag, a queer, a fucking homo, for doing what I had done with P.S..

“Robert and P____ up in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Robert with a baby carriage”

In October of 1980 my family was moved from Canadian Forces Base Namao 10km down the road to Canadian Forces Base Griesbach. Looking back now I have no doubt that it was the Canadian Forces that relocated my family, probably in an attempt to get me away from the kids on Namao. I’m also pretty certain that the reason we didn’t get moved off to bases in other provinces like the families of other victims is due to the amount of money the Canadian Forces had just spent training my father on CH-147 Maintenance Management.

There really was no reason for us to move from CFB Namao to CFB Griesbach. My grandmother moved out not too long after our arrival at CFB Griesbach. So the 3 bedroom house that we lived in on CFB Namao would have been more than large enough for us.

This move also coincides with my father getting angry with me for what I had allowed P.S. to do to my younger brother. Richard had been living off base with Sue up to that point in time. He probably didn’t know about P.S. having been found buggering me in his bedroom, or the arrest and subsequent court martial of Captain McRae. But then again, my father had problems remember things as well. For example he “forgot” that in June of 1982 that he signed the paperwork placing me in the foster care system in Alberta.

When it was decided by military brass to get me off Namao, that’s more than likely when Richard was told what had happened and that I had been discovered with an older boy’s penis inside of me. After all, the Canadian Forces would have had to explain why they wanted us to move. Moving wouldn’t have been in Richard’s best interest as he could easily get pissed drunk at the mess on base and walk back home or be escorted back home by his drinking buddies and thus not risk losing his licence again. Living down on CFB Griesbach meant that he had to drive, and that meant that he couldn’t go to the mess on Namao to go drinking with his buddies.

This was also around the immediate time that I started engaging with a man name Terry. Terry would come to see me at the school on base for military children. Sometimes I would have to go see Terry over at a building near base head quarters.

I would have just turned 9 when I started seeing Terry in October of 1980.

I would learn in the summer of 2011 that Terry was Captain Terry Totzke, a social worker with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Terry seemed to know a great deal of my involvement with P.S.

I remember being told by Terry that I had a mental illness that was exhibited by me frequently having sex with P.S.. Terry would state that this mental illness was called homosexuality.

Terry would claim that because the encounters had happened so often, and that I never told anyone about them that I was just as ill as P.S. was.

Terry would tell me that boys do not have sex with other boys, that boys do not kiss other boys, and that boys do not touch other boys penises.

Terry would tell me that he had the base military police watching me and that if I ever tried to kiss or touch another boy again that I would be sent off to the Alberta Hospital for psychiatric treatments.

My father would sometimes come to these meetings and he was obviously taking what Terry had to say very much to heart. I don’t think this was only due to Terry being a captain and my father being a master corporal. Homosexuality was viewed in a very contemptible fashion within the Canadian Forces back in the ’50s through to the ’90s.

So here I am, the eldest son of Richard, a man dealing with his own demons of depression, PTSD, and alcoholism , being told by a captain of the Canadian Forces that his son is very quite possible a homosexual.

I wasn’t a victim of Captain McRae and McRae’s 14 year old altar boy P.S..

Nope, I was a homosexual who through his own homosexual depravity had allowed his younger brother to be victimized by P.S..

There was one time when Richard and Terry had taken me off base to see a psychologist. On the drive back on base we drove past the military prison on CFB Griesbach. I can’t for the life of me remember if it was Terry or if it was Richard, but one of the two pointed at the brig and said to me that “if I didn’t smarten up and stop trying to kiss and touch other boys that I was going to end up in there just like the priest from Namao”

The major depression and severe anxiety that I was beginning to exhibit around the just made Richard and Sue much more angry. Even Terry didn’t seem to have much sympathy for my battles with depression and anxiety.

I remember getting the strap from Mr. Little, the principal of the school on base for military children. The Canadian Armed Forces ran these schools until 1994 when the Canadian Forces handed the schools over to the local school boards and got out of the business of educating military dependents. Because the military ran these schools, corporal punishment was allowed right up until 1994. I still remember getting the strap from Mrs. Potter on CFB Namao. But yeah, I got the strap quite frequently. And my father wanted to know when I got the strap so that I could get a spanking when I got home.

I don’t talk about Sue very often in my blogs. I don’t think she really knew what was going on back then. I don’t think Richard was honest with her as to all of the issues the Gill family had. And she did apologize to me in 2003 for the way things had been back then.

When you have major untreated depression and severe anxiety everything can induce tears. And when you’re only around 9 years old and you start developing these mental health issues, you have meltdowns and temper tantrums, which to a man with his own depression, PTSD, and alcoholism may come across as nothing more than an insubordinate child in need of a good belting or back hand.

Richards spankings were always the pants down kind and he had a thick leather belt.

And he’d often lose control, so much so that either Grandma or Sue would have to step in to stop him. I think that the reason he’d lose control is that the sound of crying would drive him bonkers. It would trigger something inside him.

The funny thing about grandma stopping Richard is that she could dish out corporal punishment pretty good herself. Which makes me wonder if Richard was just reacting to inter-generational violence. After all, grandma had been through Indian Residential School as a child. Grandma was an alcoholic by the time Richard was born when grandma was 23. Richard was already a good drinker by the time my mother met him in 1965. Which makes me wonder. Did Richard get his drinking from his mother? Was Richard born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

The Canadian Forces and my father never allowed to be the victim of P.S. nor Captain McRae.

I was just a selfish crybaby who was fucking with his father’s military career.

The Canadian Forces had determined that I was never the victim of P.S., the abuse had gone on far too long for me to be a victim.

I was never allowed to be a child with mental illness, I was just a fucking selfish little asshole doing anything to get my way.

One of the ways that I learnt to avoid the wrath of Richard was to hide my emotions and to hide my wants and needs.

When I started seeing Pat and Wayne I wasn’t allowed to talk to them.

I was told periodically by my father and Terry that I had to be very careful what I told Pat and Wayne because if they found out that I liked boys that I’d be sent to a hospital.

When we’d start going to go see Pat and Wayne at the facility that had a one way mirror with a room behind the mirror, I was told by both my father and Terry that I had to watch what I said to Pat and Wayne and anyone else in the room as they would “twist my words” and make me say things that I didn’t want to say and that quite possibly that they would take me away from my father. To be on the safe side I should run my answer by my father first.

I honestly don’t think Pat and Wayne had any idea of what was going on, or what I had suffered through on CFB Namao from 1978 to 1980.

But to me they were the enemy. Both Terry and my father assured me that these people were not my friends nor were they there to help me.

I think this is one of the reasons I have never been able to interact with counsellors. My whole childhood was a lie. A lie to keep the public from discovering what had occurred on CFB Namao.

In 2011 I would discover that Pat and Wayne were social service workers with Alberta Social Services. Alberta Social Services had been called in by my teacher and my brother’s teacher in November of 1981 as the school though that Captain Totzke wasn’t having any success in helping my brother and I with the behaviour issues we were exhibiting.

I talked to Pat recently. She remembered me. She said that she knew there was something going on but that I was too afraid to say anything. She also said that once Alberta Social Services handed the case back to Captain Terry Totzke they had doubts that anything was going to improve for me.

Which brings me back to the heading at the top of this post.

The Canadian Armed Forces have always viewed victims as the cause of their own misfortunes. This is nothing new. It’s the way the military hierarchy functions. If you were sexually assaulted, or if you were physically assaulted, or if you were psychologically abused, you must have done something to deserve it. Or in the alternate, if you didn’t do anything to fend off the assaults, you must have either enjoyed the assaults or you were a willing participant in the assaults.

This attitude still prevails.

In 2016 during a meeting with the Minister of Parliament for Vancouver South, Harjit Sajjan, Mr. Sajjan asked me “what my game was” and “what angle was I playing”. To this day Mr. Sajjan refuses to meet with me as the Minister of National Defence. Something about having to legally act upon my concerns if I make my concerns known to him.

But, if you talk to anyone that I’ve worked for over the years or have worked with I’m definitely not a “Societal Malcontent with an axe to grind against the Canadian Armed Forces” nor do I “frequently jump from job to job frequently changing jobs”. I honestly don’t think that anyone at St. Paul’s knows of my troubled past or my unfortunate adventures as a military dependent.

As I’ve said elsewhere, I started working when I was young. Not because a 10 year old can make a fortune cleaning aquariums and rodent cages at pet shops, or because an 11 year old can make a killing washing pizza pans and fetching supplies at a pizza shop in a shopping mall. I started working because I could get validation. I could get everything from these strangers that I couldn’t get from home. Looking back I’m more than certain that everyone I worked for knew that I came from a troubled home and that I needed help.

Sure, St. Paul’s is finally closing down. But we didn’t know that until 2019.
During my time at St. Paul’s I’ve done the following:
1-Initiated the cooling tower replacement on Phase 1 / Phase 2.
2-Repaired a design flaw with the steam regulator system that would starve the facility for steam heating during the winter months.
3-Replaced old reciprocating compressors with newer more efficient screw compressors.
4-Initiated the replacement of the main Diesel fuel tanks once I had discovered that the original main tanks were leaking and couldn’t hold pressure.
5-Repaired a long standing flaw in the secondary chilled water loop that would starve Phase II for cooling water on warm days.
6-Upgraded all cooling and heating valves in Phase II to electronic ball valves.
7-Implemented electronic rounds and reading software for tracking readings taken by the shift engineer.
8-Started to implement an inventory control system that will be ported to the New St. Paul’s.
9- Pushed to have all the supply fans upgraded to variable speed drive removing the troublesome and maintenance intensive variable pitch mechanisms from the fans.
10-Upgrading the air filtration for the operating rooms.
11 – Upgraded the refrigeration monitoring in the hospital.
12- Upgraded the steam control valves for the main heat exchangers to allow for proper tight shut-off when the heating hot water temperature set point was reached.

And on and on and on.

So no. I’m not a societal malcontent with an axe to grind against the Canadian Armed Forces, nor do I frequently jump from employer to employer.

I’ve had a very long and laborious climb up the corporate ladder all the while carrying a sack full of shit from my past that has been tied around my neck.

I’m not rich, nor am I poor. I didn’t really have much growing up, and I never really expected much either.

But Bobbie, what about your class action against the Canadian Armed Forces —- GOTCHA!!!!!! See, you are just in this for the money.

Actually, no.

First, the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence did that to themselves.

Second, M.A.i.D. for psychological reasons becomes legal in March of 2023.

I may not in fact be around to collect on the compensation that a judge determines that all class members are entitled to.

So no. I’m not just looking to make a quick buck.

And even with the hell that the Canadian Armed Forces have dragged me through since 1980 I don’t have an axe to grind with the military. Even I can understand that it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch and that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Author: bobbiebees

I started out life as a military dependant. Got to see the country from one side to the other, at a cost. Tattoos and peircings are a hobby of mine. I'm a 4th Class Power Engineer. And I love filing ATIP requests with the Federal Government.

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