OTTAWA - Canada's special forces will establish a charitable foundation to support serving and retired members and their families.
The commander of the country's special forces says the new foundation will also help with the reintegration of commandos into civilian life.
Brig.-Gen. Denis Thompson says the charitable group is still under development and will register with the Canada Revenue Agency within the next few weeks.
Certain units in the military have long had their own associations which provide a variety of services outside of government benefits.
The special forces group is part of a growing trend since the Afghan war of private organizations springing up to cover the gap between the need for services and what the federal government is willing and obliged to cover.
The Harper government, through a series of Veterans Affairs initiatives, has placed more emphasis on linking retiring soldiers with jobs in the private sector.
Once established, the CANSOF Foundation will provide financial assistance to active and retired members and their families or referrals to other agencies or programs.
It will also provide financial support to members who have been wounded in the line of duty and their families, and to families of members who have been killed in the line of duty.
Assistance will also be provided to children of deployed members to alleviate the stress of deployment on families and for unforeseen expenses.
Thompson says money will be set aside so that children of members can attend summer camp.
The organization will also help put those who've found civilian employment in touch with those considering or preparing to leave uniform.
It will also have a database of potential employers that understand the nature of special forces service.