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Your stories, your voice

Listen and read about Veterans like you, sharing their military and post-service experiences.

Profiles

Francine Beaudry, Corporal (Retd)
Francine served for 18 years and then turned to volunteering. She has remained in spirit with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), as she is the current President of the Association des Vétérans Autochtones du Québec. Read Francine’s story.

Joan Buchanan, Sergeant (Retd)
As the only woman of colour in her battalion, she “was the invisible yet visible minority.” Joan served for 27 years and in 2009 was recognized for her work in leading change within the Canadian Armed Forces and her volunteer work in employment equity. Read Joan’s story.

Michelle Douglas, Lieutenant
Michelle Douglas joined the Canadian military in 1986 but was dismissed in 1989 for being “Not Advantageously Employable Due to Homosexuality.” She sued the Department of National Defence. In 1992, just before her case went to trial, the Canadian military abandoned its policy banning gays and lesbians and settled out of court. Watch Michelle’s story.

Natacha Dupuis, Master Corporal (Retd)
Every injured Veteran follows their own road to recovery. For Natacha, it led back to a childhood love of athletics and an opportunity to represent Canada internationally. Read Natacha’s story.

Marie-Claude Gagnon, Leading Seaman (Retd)
A champion for accessibility, and the founder of the “It’s Just 700” Website, Marie-Claude has found new ways to serve her country after the military. Read Marie-Claude’s story.

Bambi Gray, Corporal (Retd)
Released as a supply technician from the Canadian Armed Forces, Bambi—with support from Veterans Affairs Canada—became a full-time student at the University of Ottawa. Read Bambi’s story.

Wendy Jocko, Sergeant (Retd)
Sergeant Jocko comes from a long line of Indigenous Warriors who fought to defend Canada and restore peace. After serving 23 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, she is now Chief of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. Read Wendy’s story.

Guylaine Lamoureux, Master Warrant Officer (Retd)
Guylaine Lamoureux joined the navy in 1997 when she was 26 years old. A dental technician by trade, Guylaine—Gee for short—saw military service as an opportunity to use her training in new ways. The next 21 years were in turns inspiring, challenging, rewarding and heartbreaking. Read Guylaine’s story.

Theresa “Terri” Lynn Orser, Warrant Officer (Retd)
Terri Lynn Orser saw action and witnessed horrors over many fronts during her 27 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2007, she transitioned to life after service, after being medically released for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read Terri’s story.

Lee-Anne Quinn, Honourary Lieutenant Colonel
Lee-Anne Quinn feels she was destined to join the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). She has a lifelong passion for physical activity, teaching others and making a difference in the world. Read Lee-Anne’s story.

Alexandra Shaw, Corporal (Retd)
Alexandra Shaw works as a policy advisor at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). But it certainly is not where she expected to be a decade ago. Read Alexandra’s story.


Women in the Canadian military

Historical milestones

Canadian women have played many important roles in our country’s military efforts over the years, overcoming many barriers to serve in uniform.

Women and war

The roles women have played in wars throughout Canada’s history, including research resources, films, art, diaries and image galleries.

Women in Service – The War Art of Molly Lamb Bobak
Nearly 50,000 women served in the Canadian army, navy and air force during the Second World War. Among them was Molly Lamb Bobak. A member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC), Lamb Bobak was made an official war artist in 1945. She depicted servicewomen in Canada and overseas, both on and off duty. This selection of her wartime artwork reflects her own experiences, as well as those of her fellow servicewomen.


LGBT purge

On November 28, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a formal apology to LGBTQ2 federal public servants, Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members harmed by federal legislation, policies and practices that led to the oppression of and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and two-spirit people in Canada. Filmmaker Sarah Fodey’s documentary, The Fruit Machine details personal accounts of former public servants affected by the LGBT purge.

Canada remembers

In the face of distinct challenges, LGBTQ2 Veterans have proven their commitment to Canada's freedom with their dedication and bravery. The Canada Pride Citation is part of the Ross, Roy, Satalic Final Settlement Agreement which includes individual compensation as well as individual and collective reconciliation and memorialization measures. The Citation is an individual reconciliation and recognition measure that will be awarded to class members in recognition of their service to Canada and the hardships endured due to unjust policies.

The LGBT National Monument

This national monument will recognize the historic discrimination against LGBT Purge survivors and LGBTQ2+ Canadians. This landmark will be dedicated to those LGBTQ2+ military, RCMP and members of the Public Service who suffered, and continue to suffer, due to the LGBT Purge between the 1950s and the 1990s. The monument is being created through consultation and an open design contest as part of the LGBT Purge Settlement.

Cathy Potts, past Chair of Rainbow Veterans Canada, is laying a wreath while wearing the Canada Pride Citation at the War Memorial in Ottawa on 11 November 2020. Credit: Royal Canadian Legion, 2020.


Preparing for post-service life

Transition to life after service can be a complex process. Women Veterans encounter a unique set of challenges as they are more likely to medically release. Women may also face a steeper income decline after leaving the Forces. . If you are in the midst of transition or preparing for release, we have valuable advice for you from women Veterans through the Transition Interview and Case Management programs.


Related information

Office of Women and LGBTQ2 Veterans

Working with Veterans and stakeholders to identify and address systemic issues or barriers specific to women and LGBTQ2 Veterans.

Building communities

Research, funding opportunities, news and resources to stay informed and connected.

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