I will never forget…  My husband was on his third tour and I was at a playgroup with my 3 year old.  Another spouse came up to me and conspiratorially confided in me “Hey…. did you hear?  The brigade has set up a brothel outside the camp in Bosnia”.  It wasn’t until I got home that I was able to chuckle about this, but at the time I was gob-smacked.  Even if she heard this rumour, how could she possibly believe it?

With the advent of social media these crazy rumours seem to be getting worse.  This is compounded by the fact that not all of our darling spouses are very good at bringing home all the information.

In October 2015 our country elected a new government and I watched the rumours ramp up again surrounding the deployment of troops to Syria. Would our troops be leaving?  Would they be away from their families at Christmas? What would they be doing?

On November 13th the Commanding Officer of 2RCHA did something fantastic.  He embraced Social Media and spoke directly to the families of his soldiers.  It was simple, clear and honest and I am sure it put so many anxieties to rest. It was also widely shared on social media  outside the 2RCHA family.  Sometimes even the grown ups don’t have all the information.  In one post, he was able to bypass the BS and let families know directly what they were up against.  I wish this was around during our early deployments and as a spouse I really hope more Commanders utilize social media this way in the future.

2rcha 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery

Syrian refugee update for the spouses and family of our soldiers. Presently, the Canadian Government has not made any decisions, so please don’t give in to gossip or speculation. As reported in the news, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have been proactive in planning to assist the government in its pledge to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end. We are soldiers employed by the Government of Canada to do its bidding when she calls and we will do whatever our new government asks of us in helping mitigate the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII, with more than 4,000,000 Syrians displaced from their homes.

So what do we know? We know that the military is likely to be involved in some way, shape, or form. Certain units, including 2 RCHA may have a roll to play, but at this time, we do not know what that roll is or exactly when. We know that we have five personnel that are part of the CAF’s high-readiness unit tasked to evacuate Canadians from a disaster zone, and they could potentially find themselves in the Middle East helping with efforts at that end. 2 RCHA assumes the Immediate Response Unit (IRU) task for Ontario on 1 December until 15 April, but as it stands now, we do not yet have a task to assist with refugees at this end. For the almost 200 soldiers we have identified in the IRU (myself, the RSM, and the Regimental leadership included), this does mean some restrictions on leave and how far those tasked to the IRU can travel.

Of course, should we be tasked to help the Government of Canada in this monumental task, then the possibility exists that our men and women may be away from their families at Christmas. Please be reminded that this is why we serve and why we so proudly wear the Canadian flag on our uniform. I promise we will communicate more once we have more information.

– LCol Sonny Hatton, CO

What do you think of his approach?

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