In May 2015 I had the immense pleasure of being asked to take photos for the Canadian Military Wives Choir’s trip to Hamilton for the International Tattoo. What a treat.
In 2010 the Military Wives Choir began in the United Kingdom as a way of support for spouses of husbands serving in Afghanistan as well as for serving female members. This phenomenon quickly spread across the UK and there are currently 77 different choirs set up in many places that the British Armed Forces serves across the globe.
In 2013 one member of one choir moved to Canada as her husband transferred from the UK Army Air Corps to the Royal Canadian Airforce. Sue Palmer was determined to set up a choir in Ottawa to replicate what was so successful in the UK.
The choir has been going for two full years now. They have over 60 members and have sung at many events including the Governor General’s residence, Parliament, as well as in the Senate for the families of fallen soldiers. New choirs are popping up across Canada in Edmonton, Comox and now Petawawa.
Prior to the trip to Hamilton I thought the choir was a cool phenomenon. I am not musical at all but I appreciated how it brought support to a bunch of great ladies. What I didn’t really understand is how special it actually is. These women come from all different backgrounds. Army, Navy, Airforce. Most have lived through multiple deployments and moves, most are far away from any family support. As I looked at these lovely ladies I felt magic. The music and the closeness seemed to temporarily melt away their burdens. Women recovering from breast cancer, women that have recently lost loved ones, women with aging parents, women dealing with young children and another upcoming deployment… and yet.. when they get together and sing it seems to melt away. Even for the moment.
On our final night we all met in the pub to raise a glass to a lot of hard work. They sang, I listened. They really are stronger together.
It is all about the sisterhood:
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