April 3, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
“April is the Month of the Military Child. This gives us a special opportunity to recognize the children of military families, and the children of veterans, for their resilience and sacrifice.
“The children of our Canadian women and men in uniform face challenges that many children do not. Military families move often, leaving schools and hockey teams and friends behind. Family members are absent for long periods on deployments, training, or exercises. For some military families, change may be the only constant in their lives.
“Many children take these changes in stride and even thrive on them. Some of them will continue the tradition of military service in their family. Others will need more support. Greater understanding from doctors and teachers has been helping children to manage the stresses of military life when these do occur, and we are grateful for these efforts. The Department of National Defence (DND) and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) have also been working hard to strengthen resources for military families.
“There are 32 Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) located at bases and wings in Canada, with additional service points in the U.S. and Europe, providing Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families with programs and services, information, and referrals to local services and agencies. The MFRCs offer special programs for children, such as deployment workshops. Our government is proud to support recent improvements such as the modernization of MFRCs, and the extension of access to these centres to medically released CAF personnel and their families. These measures will have a positive impact on the children in the family.
“Since 1947, the CAF’s Children’s Education Management program has been reducing the impact of relocation on schooling for military families both at home and overseas. Since 2008, over 2,000 children of CAF personnel have participated in the Support Our Troops National Summer Camps. If a child’s parent tragically dies as a result of their military service, VAC provides eligible students with educational assistance in the form of monthly support for up to four years, or 36 academic months of educational study.
“This month, join us in paying tribute to the children of military families. If you have one in your classroom, or in your clinic, aim to increase your understanding of their unique circumstances. Know that it takes one kind of courage to put on the uniform in service to your country, and another to share in that journey, wherever it may lead.”