This past week my husband retired with 36 years, 10 months and 12 days of service in the Canadian Army. I’m no longer Canadian Army Wife. I’m the wife of a veteran. Much has changed over the years since we got married over 30 years ago. Back then, MFRCs (Military Family Resource Centres) and CFMWS (Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services) did not exist. We were on our own with the support of our neighbours and other spouses in our husband’s unit.
In my early days as a military spouse, the internet barely existed. We sent letters via postal mail, which took at least a week to deliver. We made telephone calls on landlines after 11 pm on weekdays or from Saturday noon until Sunday at 6 pm because the long-distance rates were cheaper. Cell phones existed, but they were unaffordable for most people. Our sources of news were television, radio, and newspapers.
Wider access to the internet changed our lives. Blogs were new when I started writing about being a military spouse in the mid-2000s. It was like creating your own newspaper. Instead of writing a dozen identical letters to friends and family about life as a military spouse, I could write it once and share it online with a wider audience.
Then along came smartphones with unlimited text messaging and phone calls. That was rapidly followed by video conferencing and social media. It’s a double-edged sword. We reap the benefits of connecting and sharing information across a wider network. But the cost has been high too. The quality of connections is low, and misinformation abounds. Many people, even journalists, publish clickbait headlines and controversial opinions just to increase readership. But then again, moral outrage fuels engagement, and engagement increases revenue.
And that brings me to why I haven’t posted in over two years. Everyone seems to have opinions on the pandemic, the sexual misconduct crisis, the recruitment crisis, the lack of funding for equipment and materiel, spy balloons, the war in Ukraine, the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, etc. And these opinions are not always well-informed. I am not knowledgeable about these subjects, so I’ve kept quiet, put my head down, supported my family, grown my business, and supported my community as well as I could.
So this is my final post as Canadian Army Wife. I’m leaving my blog online for now because I’m still the parent of a military member. I may post occasionally, but for now, I’m signing off. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn.
Je me souviens.