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The Military Lifestyle Podcast

If you are in the Canadian Armed Forces or a family member connected to the military, the lifestyle can be a challenge. CFB Esquimalt’s Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) explores deployments, postings, transitions and more through interviews with MFRC staff, experts in the community, military members and military-connected family members. There should be no concern about rank or trade, or finding the time to get through the doors at the MFRC. The goal is to meet you where you live and to help you prepare and get a plan in place so that you can master the military lifestyle.

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Episode 1: Preparing Couples for Deployment

Looks at the challenges of a military deployment, a few tools for managing it, coping strategies, goal setting, common errors and the importance of good communication. Special guest: MFRC Deployment Coordinator Sandra Pinard.

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Episode 2: Navigating Systems

Looks at the big hurdles that military families face when it comes to navigating the school and medical systems, how to plan and self-advocate and how to tackle this daunting challenge. Special guest: Colleen Cahoon.

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Episode 3: The Transition Out of the Military

The transition from being in the military to the civilian world represents a huge cultural shift. Let’s explore why it is such a big adjustment, the different kinds of transition, loss of identity, what the challenges are, and what helps during the process. Special guests: military anthropologist Dr. Anne Irwin and MFRC social worker Pauline Sibbald.

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Episode 4: Parenting from Afar

If you have kids and work takes you away for lengthy periods of time, you are parenting from afar. Let’s explore some things you can do before, during and after the experience to make things better. Special guest: Tracy Beck, MFRC Deployment Workshop Facilitator.

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Episode 5: Military Family Financial Planning

Military life is different and so are your finances. There are deployments, postings, you might not have family close by and you might have businesses willing to give you a “great” deal. Let’s examine financial planning from a military perspective. Special guest: Suzie Fines, SISIP Financial Services.

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Episode 6: Helping Children with Stress

Stress can impact anyone, including kids of all ages, but it can be managed and you can help your child through the process. Let’s talk about what stress is for a military-connected child, what it might look like and a few strategies to deal with it. Special guest: Dr. Linda Scott.

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Episode 7: Looking for Work in a New Community

Military families have to recreate community with every posting. For some military spouses or partners that can mean looking for work in a new place and rebuilding from scratch. So, let’s break down how military families can address resumes, references, informational interviews plus a few skills that you can highlight. Special guest: Kim Dillon, WorkLink.

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Episode 8: Preparing Single Military Members for Deployment

If you’re a single military member and getting ready to deploy, you might be excited without a care in the world. But there are things for you to think about before you leave. So if you’re single, single-ish, a parent of a single military member, or in a position of influence over one, let’s dig into everything you need to take care of before a deployment. Special guest: Sandra Pinard, MFRC Deployment Coordinator.

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Episode 9: The Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman

The military is a complex system. There are a lot of policies that govern the way it operates and that system can be complex for even the most experienced person. If you ever feel like the system’s failed you, that you’ve got a complaint and think you’ve been treated unfairly, there’s a formal way to move forward. Special guest: Greg Lick, CAF Ombudsman.

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Episodes 10: Kim Mills from She is Fierce

Kim Mills is a writer that’s been living the military lifestyle for close to 20 years. Through her writing or storytelling and sharing her personal experiences, military families everywhere have connected to her work at She is Fierce. She speaks about deployments, anxiety and what she has learned from living the lifestyle. Special Guest: Kim Mills.

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Episode 11: Looking for Child Care in Greater Victoria

It can be a challenge to find child care in Greater Victoria. If you’re a military family, you also have to find care of the matches the lifestyle requirements. Staff from the Child Care Resource and Referral talk about where to start and their perspective on this challenging issue. Special Guest: Lisa Yates and Erin Holler.

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Episode 12: Diversity and the Canadian Military (Part 1)

In Canada’s Defence Policy (“Strong, Secure, Engaged”), it says the Canadian Armed Forces must reflect the diversity of the country that we defend, and that we need a military that looks like Canada. You often hear the phrase “stronger together” here in the military family community. If the military wants to reach its goal, families will be a big part of the process. Special guest: Dr. Lisa Gunderson.

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Episode 13: Diversity and the Canadian Military (Part 2)

The Canadian Armed Forces says it must reflect the diversity of the country that we defend, and that we need a military that looks like Canada. The second part of the discussion on things that military families can do to help embrace diversity and ways to reduce bias. Special guest: Dr. Lisa Gunderson

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Episode 14: Promoting Health with Kids

The military lifestyle can be hard on kids, especially when part of their support system is away. Maintaining good physical and mental health is so important. Let’s examine the factors for good health and some things for you to do to set your military-connected child up for life. Special guest: Maryse Neilson, Health Promotion Manager at CFB Esquimalt.

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Episode 15: Resilience through Challenging Times

Military Families learn to be resilient through living the military lifestyle. A pandemic might be the perfect time to lean in on those skills. Let’s examine how life has changed and what can help military families through this experience. Special guest: Pauline Sibbald, social worker at Transition Centre Esquimalt.

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Episode 16: Preparing Couples for Reunion

For couples experiencing a military deployment, a homecoming isn’t always like the movies.  Reintegration can be a challenge.  Let’s take a look at what people are feeling and a few tips to have a smooth reunion. Special guest: Sandra Pinard, Deployment Coordinator at the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre.

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Episode 17: Mindfulness and the Military

Mindfulness is everywhere nowadays. Schools, companies, smartphone apps, even the military. Mindfulness has gone mainstream. For some it’s a buzzword, big business, a product. If you strip away all the packaging, what exactly is it? And how can you apply it to military life? Special guest: Patricia Galaczy.

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Episode 18: The ABC's of Military Postings

Military postings can be as easy as ABC, but there’s still a lot to think about, a lot of fine details. So let’s explore what to do before you get your posting message, after you receive it, then after your move. Special guest: Carole Lajoie, CAF Ombudsman’s Office.

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Episode 19: Trauma Resilience

Trauma. Postal Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those words might spark a reaction in you.  Imagine being able to change the culture around trauma and PTSD. Imagine when people seek treatment, it feels the same way as recovering from any other injury. Special guest: Dr. Tim Black from the University of Victoria and Wounded Warriors Canada.

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Episode 20: Healthy Relationships

Relationships are great, but they’re not always easy. Got to make time for each other, got to communicate. If you’re in a relationship with a military member, in the context of the lifestyle, it’s just more complex. This episode explores what you need for a healthy relationship and some things to watch out for. Special guest: Holly Flower, social worker and counsellor at the Esquimalt MFRC.

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Episode 21: Techniques for Relaxation, Productivity and Happiness

Now, some believe if you work harder, you’ll be more successful. If you’re more successful, then you’ll be happier. Maybe not that simple. Living in the military lifestyle can be a handful, but wouldn’t it be great to feel more productive living the life? Special guest: Sarah Francescutti.

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Episode 22: Healthy Nutrition

Food can do many things, it fuels us up, keeps us going, brings friends and family together. A healthy diet, so many positive effects on our lives. But during times of stress, it can be hard to keep the motivation. Special guest: Alli Jones, Health Promotion.

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Episode 23: A Mental Health Journey

You never know where life will take you. For Bruno Guevremont, it took him into the Canadian Armed Forces for 15 years, including two tours in Afghanistan. It also took him on a battle with his own mental health, one where he got help, and is now helping others. Special guest: Bruno Guevremont

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