I reel at this comment every time and more often than not it is by a regular or ex-service individual who has made the comment.
I respect their opinion, in comparison to the (potential) worth of the ribbon on their chest, yes it is worth very little. but to the CFAV it is worth something, it is in some small way recognition for commitment above and beyond what most (“civilians”) do.
I am not saying all CFM holders are role models of a CFAV, neither am I saying they are the nicest people you will meet, but they have taken 12 years out of their life, away from their personal life, their own family and/or career to commit to the the organisation.
ok so it means little to those who have put their lives on the line, by those who have been shot at, who have been under fire and in a state where real bravery and courage is required.
But for the youth leaders on the street who give up 12 hours a month or more for 12 years (1,728 hours minimum)
for those CFAVS who put up with PITA admin requests from HQAC/WHQs,
those CFAvs who put up with jumped up WSOs and OCs wanting to run their to their exacting standards because THEY have the time to do so,
those CFAVs who have to deal with child protection issues (or worse) with very little training or support, deal with angry parents for faults not our own (and in some cases not even of the organisation!)
or simply give up time with their own family to support and assist the community for some they are not even local to, a little bit of ribbon and shiny metal means more than some clipart special wordart fonted certificate which gets hidden on a shelf for no one to see.
It may well suit the walts who claim it is more than it is, but for some of us, it is something which has universal recognition - commitment to a cause.