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Deployment and its Effect on Families

Heroes Remember

Deployment and its Effect on Families

One of the things about coming back home was that you forget particularly when you have children that their lives march on quite dramatically in an absence anywhere from six to fourteen months. It’s very interesting to show back up and say oh well I’m back and I’m just going to pick up exactly where I left off because they will turn around and say it isn’t quite the same anymore. I am no longer ten years old I’m now eleven and so, you know, I’m now doing so many other different things. My first experience was quite a wakeup call as I mentioned and they were a little pointed at underlining the fact that their lives had continued and I needed to get back into gear. Subsequent missions were much easier because I learned the lesson once but it was actually more difficult for the families, me leaving than me coming home. One of the things that we have tried to overcome is the anticipation, excitement and in some cases outright happiness for guys preparing to go overseas. And from the member’s perspective you are about to go and do something that you have been training for for a long time so you are really keen to be able to go off and do these tasks now in the real world that are going to benefit real people. From the families perspective they can’t quite make sense of why you’re so happy to leave them. Again we’ve learned that lesson very quickly and now both for the families and for the members going overseas, we sensitise both the families and the members to the different points of view that people normally experience going over. Families don’t get the benefit of the training and the culture of camaraderie that the military members do. And whether it’s the husband or the wife who’s left at home trying to do the job of two parents, you know, there’s not enough time to go around in the day. And if you look at the other end of the scale for very young children, it’s very difficult to be without a parent for quite some time and when you hit the teenage years of course you’re missing that advice and guidance which may not always be welcomed but is still, you miss it when it’s not there.

Major Mac Culloch expresses his thoughts on the time spent away from family and how it changes the lifestyle of all involved.

Wayne Mac Culloch

Wayne Mac Culloch was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1953 and grew up in Quebec. He began his studies at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, at the age of 18 and would serve as a military engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 40 years. During his long and varied career, Mr. Mac Culloch served across Canada and took part in three overseas deployments to the Balkans and one to Haiti before being medically discharged with the rank of major. Still having a passion to serve, he went on to work as a civilian employee with the Department of National Defence. Since 2004, Mr. Mac Culloch has volunteered his time and talents to help deliver the “Peace Module” during the Historica Encounters with Canada program in Ottawa. Week after week, he has engaged with youth from coast to coast and educated them about the sacrifices and achievements of Canadians who have served in uniform over the years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 9, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Wayne Mac Culloch
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces

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