Whether married or single, parent, partner, cousin or child of a soldier, we want you to tell us all about your Army family. Follow #OurArmyFamily on Twitter and Instagram for more stories. Amanda Yorke tells us about Army family life in Canada with her soldier Jay and sons Jared (13) and Jensen (11)…
I married Jay in 2003 and since then we have been posted around the UK, Germany and now Canada. We have lived in Service Family Accommodation our whole married life and that can be a challenge, but it means we have a good sort out of all our belongings whenever we’re posted!
I feel proud of how resilient children of Forces families are. Jared and Jensen have been to four different schools since they started their education and it can’t be easy for them moving to a new house and having to make new friends. Luckily they are growing up in world full of resources and technology, which allows them to stay in touch with friends when we are posted.
Army life can be hard. At first I found it difficult to cope with Jay being away on exercise for anything from a week to a few months, but by the time he deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, I was used to the periods of separation and just got on with it. I had to adapt to doing everything for those six months and be mum and dad to our sons.
There are positives – and the opportunities Army life has given our sons has certainly balanced the negatives. They’ve experienced things some people only ever dream of. Here in Canada, they play ice hockey and go skiing in the winter, and in the summer we took them on a three-week road trip around America.
Our postings have been varied. Sometimes it has been easy to make friends and there have been people living close by with children the same age as ours, but other postings have been lonelier and that can be tough. I don’t tend to get too involved with patch life when we’re in the UK, but in Canada we live in a remote village in the middle of the Albertan prairies where the nearest town is a 45-minute drive, so I’m more involved.
My advice to anyone embarking on Army family life is to not listen to any negative comments about a posting – wait until you get there to make your own mind up. Get involved with as much as you feel comfortable with but don’t feel pressured to take part in everything. Be open to making new friends as it can really make a difference to a posting.
Do you and your loved ones want to share what makes up your #OurArmy Family? Send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org