CHAPTER 25: LIFE AFTER THE MILITARY
After Trenton we were posted to C.F.B. Rockcliffe (1994- 1998). Dean was the school administrator and head facilitator for a special program for the military. I earned a Business Marketing Diploma at Algonquin College and worked as a commissionaire in the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires for awhile but it was full of old retired military guys so although no-one tried hit on me it was the same attitude and I was given bad hours in the most remote locations because I was not only the youngest but because I was female and to make matters worse I didn’t speak french and Ottawa being Canada’s capital and since passing a law to make french our second language it discriminated against English and made many government jobs impossible to even apply for.
Dean retired from the military and as a last posting we moved to Edmonton, Alberta where my sister lived. In Edmonton both Dean and I had trouble integrating into the civilian sector. Dean tried facilitation, armored car, and ended up as a prison guard then special investigator in a maximum prison. I had fifteen jobs over two years and was diagnosed with bi-polar depression after a break-down. The doctor insisted I never work again and I went on the medical Canadian Pension Plan.
Our son Kyle earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree and daughter Amber a Hospitality Diploma, Business Marketing Diploma, and Landscaping Technician Diploma/Certification. Amber was engaged and is getting married in the spring of 2017. She and her fiance just moved out of his family home into their own apartment.
Dean and I moved back to Moose Jaw with Kyle. Dean worked at the Casino while Kyle wrote over 200 articles freelance for a small newspaper. Through his job he became involved in roller derby, met a girl he married, and found a full-time job at a multi-cultural center.
Throughout the years we had three perfect dogs. We got Trixie a female border collie when we were in C.F.B. Rockcliffe, Ottawa. When we moved to Edmonton and Trixie passed we got Rufus a black lab mix and in a few years a companion for him Maggie a female german shepherd mixed with a wrinkle dog.
When Dean’s father died we moved to Ontario to take care of his mother who lives with us in a full in-law suite. Our dog Maggie passed away and Dean’s sister asked us if we’d take her four-year old cat Roxy because she was moving. We’ve been here for three years but will move back to Edmonton when our daughter gets pregnant which she says will probably be one to two years after they are married. Dean and I have been together for thirty-four years.
In regards to my thoughts on my time in the military, training although immensely challenging was fulfilling, I enjoyed my trade as a supply technician in the various warehouses, and the travel was amazing. I had been to every province in Canada coast to coast except the North West Territories, New Brunswick, and Manitoba. Also there was a sense of community with working together, social events, and base housing. On the negative side were two huge problems which were the sexual harassment and inequality in pay and promotions for females. Also as a military couple with children the organization didn’t give a shit if you both worked nights. It was these two factors that caused me to quit the military twice and gave me the massive grief I had while I was a military member.
I can think of one word that would sum it up perfectly…. bitter-sweet (more bitter than sweet).