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52 Relocation

bedroom RHUs. It is rare that a couple with no children would get a 4 bedroom RHU. At one time there were designated homes for designated ranks (e.g. a unit's commanding officer's home) but that is not the case anymore. KS: Not really, when we moved, we just drove

around the military area looking for our allocated address.

MM: How much flexibility is there with

relocations? JHB: Not much. The member is given a COS date (change of strength) which is when his records officially transfer from the losing unit to the gaining unit. The transfer of the member's family is usually done as close to the COS date as possible unless there are extraneous circumstances such as a move during the school year or if a family member has special needs. Also, the member can opt to go IR (imposed restriction) meaning the member moves to the new location and the family does not. The member must supply good reasons for applying for IR. The member would have rations and quarters at the new location but I believe there are also restrictions on this. KS: They ask you to list three choices, and usually give you your last one! Unless someone likes you, or maybe doesn't like you!

MM: Is your husband normally with you when you move? JHB: According to the CFAOs (Canadian Forces Administrative Orders) and DAODs (Defence Administrative Orders and Directives), the member is supposed to be present for the move. Personally, my husband has only been with me, at the house, during one move and that was because he had a dislocated shoulder. KS: So far he has been with me, yes. We had to fly the cat a few times, while we drove and have each!driven a car to the new destination before. MM: Do you feel you have enough support as a

wife from both the military and your family etc? JHB: I've always been an independent person and I've always been happy with the support and communications that I have received from the Canadian Forces. There are many ways the CF through the CMP has improved its services to members and their families over the years. It is very different now (more supportive & communicative) than it was when we first got married. KS: Not really, you kind of find out things on your own such as the free babysitting I only just!found out about. If you live off-base, it's harder to find out what's going on. Now that I have some contacts at the resource centre, I seem to know a bit more.! MM: Are you in close contact with family members?

JHB: It hasn't been easy staying in contact with distant relatives but we are in contact with parents and siblings frequently. The electronic age has certainly made things easier, email, Facebook, etc. My family is still in the Kingston area. My husband's sisters are in BC and his brother is in Nunavut. His parents are moving from Abuja to Aklavic this summer. KS: Yes, especially now that we are back in Ontario

where our families are. My husband switched aircraft so we could get back to Ontario to be near family. This was a good and a bad move, as now he keeps being sent overseas.

MM: How do you personally cope with your husband’s deployments? JHB: I try to focus on all the positives about the deployment, as funny as it sounds, things like not having to readjust the rearview mirrors in the car, less laundry, less cooking... Sometimes all it takes is the small things to get you through. Just one day at a time. KS: We are lucky they are only 8-10 weeks at a time but this year he will miss Christmas for the first time so that will be hard. The boys are in school full time so it's easier for me than if they were younger and I was a single parent. I have started to go to the base,!once a week to a program for deployed spouses and kids, which helps.

I try to not feel too sorry for myself when he's gone. He has it much worse over there, with the danger and the heat and the stress and loneliness. Sure he has time to read a book, but he'd rather be home with us.

MM: Has you husband ever been wounded in action? JHB: He dislocated a shoulder parachuting in

2009. KS: No, thank goodness. MM: Thinking of your children. How do they cope with their father being away? JHB: They know their father is doing his job. It is a

bit stressful but email helps and so do the phone calls. We have a routine that we do when Daddy isn't home (eat fish, eat in front of the TV from time to time). KS: My youngest didn't sleep in his own bed the whole first deployment. He was better!with the second one but there have been a few teary nights, even now, when he thinks about his dad going away again. We don't talk about it too much beforehand. I inform their teachers so they can keep an eye out for!odd behaviour but I think they've done okay. !MM: How do they cope with relocations? JHB: They are just at the age where their friends

are becoming more important. My son has a Facebook account that he uses to keep in touch with his friends. My daughter relies on email and postal

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