Stories from Veterans and Families
Giving a voice to the Veteran and Family community, one story at a time
one story at a time
Stories heal. Whether in telling one’s own or in hearing the experiences of another – stories often provide a spark of hope. These digital stories have been created by Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Veterans and Family members from across Canada. Told in their own words, they share a thread of recovery and resilience. In bringing these stories to life, the hope is to support others on their own journeys.
Charlene is the mother of a Royal Military College of Canada cadet who died by suicide. This is her story of learning to “lift her head again.” She gives us a glimpse into her struggles as she navigated through her grief and loss. It is a story of learning, perseverance and love.
As one of the first women to enlist in the Infantry combat trade, Diane openly shares her experiences of facing abuse, discrimination and harassment while proving herself as a soldier. Diane’s story speaks to strength, resilience, and to the power of kindness.
Military chaplains have a special role in walking with and providing care to soldiers experiencing combat. However, when their own supports fall apart, what is the result? Jim S. speaks to the impact of what spiritual caregiving can look like in a war zone, and beyond.
As a child, Jim W. saw the positive difference a Mountie could make and knew this would be his career path. What he didn’t know was the toll the types of calls he would be on — and the things he would see — would have on his own mental health. The retired RCMP staff sergeant speaks about the importance of reaching out for help, and the immense value of mentors and guides.
Laryssa describes herself as a proud military Family member — as a daughter, spouse and mom to currently serving and former CAF members. She shares her story of what it takes to love a warrior, while discovering the importance of also taking care of herself as she supports her husband living with PTSD.
Polliann is the spouse of a CAF Veteran. Her story addresses the challenges that Family members often face while living with a loved one with mental health issues. She speaks to the masks that Family members hide behind in order to function in daily life.
Military leaders may experience unique challenges, given the responsibility they feel for those under their command. Richard’s story gives a glimpse into the impact of leading in a combat zone, and shares his thoughts about the moral injury that he experienced as a result.
Ross is no stranger to the concept of vicarious trauma — what people can feel when they are indirectly exposed to someone else’s trauma — having experienced it both as a former RCMP member and later with the Calgary Police Service. There are certain situations that have a profound impact on everyone involved. In this story, he speaks to the importance of friendship and trust in recovery.
Tabitha is a retired master corporal who served as a CAF medic. Her story of her experience with PTSD highlights the unique struggles related to women’s mental health, being in survival mode, numbness and learning to live again with feelings and emotions.
Tim’s story provides us with the perspective of the male spouse of a Veteran living with a mental health injury. Tim shares his powerful story of loving and supporting his wife as he also comes to terms with the weight that her diagnosis has had on him.