SHE IS FIERCE Patricia Leboeuf, CFB Petawawa Blogger and author Kim Mills visited Garrrison Petawawa for a meet and greet and to share some of her hard-won and often hilarious life experience as a military spouse. She shared both amusing, and heartbreaking stories based on her own experiences. She didn’t hold back on the challenges, the realities and the difficulties of having a serving spouse deploy or leave to be on course or on exercise, especially in a time when families were an afterthought at best. Her stories brought both laughter and tears, but the most important message she had to share with the military spouses in attendance was to be supportive of one another, no matter what. Cattiness over petty differences should be a thing of the past, and spouses need to rise above it and instead find commonalities.
instead remember what you would have needed and be that,” said Mills. She adds: “You should be who you needed,” Sharing a simple smile with a stranger can be a lifeline to somebody struggling. She has shared her message at 21 different Bases and Wings across the nation, spoken to high ranking military officials, executive directors, and politicians. Yet it is other spouses that she wishes to impact the most. She hopes to inspire others to help build up the military family community and she knows that it starts by helping each other out.
“It isn’t going to get better for us if we think we have to do it all by ourselves,” said Mills. People may be struggling and be too proud to ask for help. So when Kim Mills at Esquimalt in doubt, one should reach out and help out with concrete actions. Whether that is babysitting a newborn while the mother naps, “We need to learn how to adjust another queen’s picking up extra groceries to drop off or bringing crown without telling the world that it’s crooked,” over some cake to share over coffee. Those small said Mills. actions can mean the world. She hopes to inspire spouses, male and female, to create a strong community among themselves, one where they can find help and support at every turn as they navigate through the challenges and worries of having absent partners.
“We need to swallow back that tendency to think, ‘When I was in their spot, nobody helped me,’ and
“If we really want to move forward, I highly encourage people to make really tangible offers of help,” said Mills. Her anecdotes, stories, and advice can be found online at www.sheisfierce.net or you can visit her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SheIsFierceCanada.
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