Backgrounder / March 7, 2017
March 7, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Women have been serving in Canada's military for over a century and today play a pivotal role in defending Canada's safety and security. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was one of the first military forces to allow women to serve in all occupations, and today is setting ambitious goals to increase representation across all trades and ranks. Our objective is that in ten years, one in four CAF members will be women.
In summary there are over 10,000 women presently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, and thousands more who have since retired with long and distinguished careers. Many have served in theatre of war, assisted in the interception of drug busts and many more outstanding attributes that are too many to mention.
As I watched the opening ceremonies of the Invictus Games in Toronto it gave me great pride to be one of the numerous Aboriginal women veterans who have served our country for over 36 years, all the while, being married, raising a family and thankfully becoming a grandmother.
I wear my medals with pride at all veterans events and gatherings, and display my veterans plate on my car with pride.
It saddens my heart, when someone comes up to me when I am either entering or exiting my car and ask: "is your husband a veteran?" in my case, yes he is, but this is my car, my veterans plate.
In other cases, when wearing my medals, I am constantly asked: "Are those your father's medals?"
Now, I know that these individuals are well meaning and are showing interest, and are not meaning to be rude, or disrespectful, but I just want to pass one thing along for your readers to keep in mind:
If you see a woman sporting veterans plates on a car, or more importantly wearing medals on her jacket or in the case of an Aboriginal Woman Veteran, on her shawl, please do not automatically assume that they belong to someone else, the first question you should ask her is: Are you a veteran? And I guarantee that she will proudly say: Yes I Am!
Article for the Canadian Armed Forces