COMM0011 – My Military Family

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My husband is a soldier. Our married life has consisted of 20 years, 10 moves, 2 kids, 6 school jurisdictions, multiple Individual Education Plans,and MANY long absences. Our family is resilient, strong and unbroken. My children did not ask to be a part of this life that my husband and I have chosen, but I believe in some ways we are stronger as a family because of it.

The Canadian Military has been busy. Since 1991 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen/women have been involved in ever present conflicts across the globe. These deployments are coming at increasing frequency, intensity and duration. This also means increasing pressures on Military Families as they deal with an ever changing family situation. Recurring relocations, spousal unemployment, separations and deployments continue to be top stressors for military families*. (*2009 – Quality of Life Among Military Families)

Social Media has completely changed the military family landscape. My husband’s first deployment yielded one 5-minute phone call every week if you were lucky. (We once went six weeks without speaking during a time when the Serbian General emphatically stated on CNN that he was going to send the boys home in body bags.)  The call would come at any time of the day or night and if you missed it… you missed it. Life in the military most often means that you are far from your family and the support that you are used to. When I joined Facebook in 2007 my world changed. People that live far from traditional family and friend support are turning to their local Facebook group sites for that support and assistance. Personal Facebook pages are connecting families and children back home so they still feel connected in spite of the vast distances. Facebook means community and in the military context this eases the strings of a stressful lifestyle.

Move - Kandahar Sask 2

A much safer Kandahar (this one in Saskatchewan). On the move from Edmonton to Toronto.

6 thoughts on “COMM0011 – My Military Family

  1. Hi Beth, I’ve been living overseas on and off since 1999 when I moved to first moved to Korea. Things sure were a lot different back then! It’s been hard to keep in touch with old friends but since Facebook all of that has changed and I’ve been able to stay in touch with new friends and reconnect with old friends all over the world. Today I’m writing from Austria but I still know what the weather’s like back home and my mother has finally figured out how to use skype and facebook (well, sort of!) Being an on-again, off-again expat, I can totally relate to your post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Beth. I can totally relate as my husband just recently retired after 25 years with the Canadian Forces. He is now a private contractor and still travels and I find Skype, FaceTime, Facebook etc so wonderful for all of us. I post pics on Facebook and he checks them out. He FaceTime or Skype’s the kids and I almost everyday. It’s almost like he’s just around the corner. I agree that Social Media has definitely taken away some of the stress and anxiety of having him be so far away and in harm’s way. All the best to you and your family. 🙂

  3. Hi Beth – First of all, thank you so much to your husband for what he does and to your family for supporting him in doing it.
    Social media has made communicating with others so much easier, especially when distance is a factor. Clearly it has made a positive difference in how you stay connected.

  4. Wow! This post is a reminder of how much sacrifice the men and women in uniform and their families continue to do for the citizens of this country! I cannot imagine waiting for a phone call and “if you missed it, you missed it”. It must be crushing. Please know you are appreciated!

    • Thank you for your Thank you!!! Funny, it means a lot to be acknowledged. Deployments are much different now than they used to be. Communication is higher, but then again Risk is higher. I think my kids are simply amazing though. They seem to weather it all relatively unscathed. Only time will tell how much future therapy will be required!!

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