Military families are essential to the care of veterans in both the past and present. Yet current veteran policies and programs do not fully provide the necessary services military families require for the process of healing and recovery. For the final episode of our four-part series on the past and present experiences of veterans in Canada, two scholars, a veteran and a caregiver continue their discussion of the effects of military service on veterans’ families. Drawing comparisons between veteran and family experiences during the First World War and the present, the guests discuss current research and the challenges mental trauma places on the family dynamic. These challenges include recognizing the sacrifices of military spouses and the risk of intergenerational trauma being passed down to veterans’ children. The discussion reveals how the fears of veterans and their families have been shaped by changes in government responsibilities to the veteran community over the past century and how this history continues to inform current veteran policy and program reform.
This episode in funded by the Department of National Defence. It is hosted by Dr. Geoffrey Hayes of the University of Waterloo. Panelists are Dr. Jessica Meyer, Dr. Deborah Norris, Jody Mitic and Kim Davis.
Dr. Geoffrey Hayes is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo and a faculty associate of the LCMSDS. His research focuses on Canadian military history. He is the author of Crerar’s Lieutenants: Inventing the Canadian Junior Army Officer, 1939-45, published with UBC Press in 2017, as well as the co-editor of Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment (2007) and Canada and the Second World War: Essays in Honour of Terry Copp (2012).