The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #85161   Message #1579582
Posted By: Charmion
09-Oct-05 - 03:54 PM
Thread Name: BS: How low can you go?
Subject: RE: BS: How low can you go?
Important caveat: I'm talking about professional armed forces in first-world democracies, especially Canada, the United States and Britain.

Children raised in military families know that military service is not about kill or be killed except when the world has gone mad, and the current generation of young Canadians is not experiencing anything like that. The children of a PPCLI sergeant deploying for the second time to Afghanistan (after three tours in Bosnia) know that being in the Army just means that Dad's gone a lot, and the family moves every three to four years whether they want to or not. Navy families move less often, but when they do it's coast to coast -- and Dad (or Mum) is gone even more, and for longer.

Most children of Canadian Forces members believe that their parents help people, that their job is to go places where everything has fallen apart and help clean up. At some point, most of them -- like the children of police officers -- come to understand that their parents jobs are risky sometimes. I found it sobering and deeply touching when I heard two children talking about a flight-line accident in which an aircraft mechanic was killed; one told the other that his Dad made sure to kiss everyone before leaving the house to go on shift just in case something went wrong.

British Columbia has two major bases, by the way: 19 Wing Comox with four air squadrons and CFB Esquimalt with half the Canadian Navy fleet, plus military training areas, two Army Reserve brigades with units spread all over the province, and two Naval Reserve divisions. That's a lot of families.