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.