Articles for Veterans and families



Veterans: Life After the Forces Exhibit

“In order to better understand Veterans and the reality they face after release, it’s critical to know who they are, where they come from and what they’ve been through,” says Marie France L’Ecuyer.

The Captain Nichola Goddard Day of Peace for Students

“Every year, kids who didn’t know each other in the morning are hugging goodbye at the end of the day. It gives me goosebumps,” says Susan Casey, Principal of East St. Margaret's Elementary School in Indian Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Figuring out life after service

Marion Turmine discusses her work as operations coordinator at the Veterans Transition Network.

Women Veterans profiled: Marie-Claude Gagnon

Former Leading Seaman Marie-Claude Gagnon served in the Naval Reserve for seven years before releasing in 2005.

Women Veterans profiled: Corporal (Retired) Alexandra Shaw

Corporal (Retired) Alexandra Shaw is really happy with where she has ended up. She works as a policy advisor at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. But it certainly is not where she expected to be a decade ago.

Chris Batchilder: Senior Business Analyst, My VAC Account

Growing up, I never imagined I would serve in the military. Some 30 years later, I’m not only a Veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, but also an employee of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). Funny how life goes.

Catherine Johnston: Field Nursing Services Officer

I’ve worked at our North Bay office since 2016. My job is to make sure Veterans receive the health care and nursing resources they need.

Cleaning Veterans’ graves without damaging the stone

As a masonry and restoration expert, Lee Labas of Labas Construction had the task of cleaning the headstones of 4,000 fallen Canadian soldiers and Veterans in Edmonton. The delicate job involved removing decades of algae and moss from the granite surfaces.

Five milestones for Canadian women in military service

Generations of women have served in the Canadian military. Some were the first to clear a barrier, blazing a trail for others to follow. Here are five notable milestones for Canadian women in military service.

Remembrance within reach: five war memorials to visit in Canada

Over the years, many communities across Canada have built their own memorials to honour and remember the service and sacrifice of Canadians at war.

Hometown Service Part III: Oshawa

War at home and abroad has shaped the face of Canada. Cities grew and changed under the influence of far-off global conflicts. Oshawa—today a city of 170,000 nestled above Lake Ontario—is one example.

Hometown Service: Part II—Montreal

Canada’s wartime efforts have not only helped protect peace and freedom at home and abroad, but also shaped our nation economically and historically.

Hometown service: Part 1—Halifax

In this multi-part series, we examine how life and work changed for three cities in Canada. First up: Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Forgotten Fights: Battle of Medak Pocket

Sometimes peace can only be protected by fighting. The Battle of Medak Pocket was one of those times.

From the CAF to bookshelves

Four books written by women Veterans.

They too served: Five places overseas where RCMP members deployed

Canadian Armed Forces personnel have taken part in many combat and peacekeeping operations overseas since the end of the Second World War. Most Canadians are aware of this fact. What may be less well known is the role Canadian police officers play in overseas deployments.

Women to women: Advice on transition

Transition to life after service can be a complex process. Researchers like Dr. Maya Eichler believe that many Veterans often experience transition as “a culture shock.” Women Veterans encounter a unique set of challenges because they are more likely to medically release.

What single parents need to know during and after transition

Dr. Alla Skomorovksy is a defence scientist at the Department of National Defence who conducts research on military families and well-being. Her recent work highlights the strain some single parents feel while serving or during transition.

Project '44 recreates the Battle of Normandy online

Project '44: The Road to Liberation is an interactive online map of Normandy that begins with the big picture of the battle and dives right down to the experiences of individual units, and even soldiers.

Get the most out of your transition interview

Leaving military service can be a big change. As a Veteran getting ready to transition, you may face difficult questions about your post-service life, including “Where will I find work?,” “Do I qualify for benefits and services?,” and “What community supports are available to me?”

Giant floor maps recreate the First World War in the classroom

With support from Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC)’s Commemorative Partnership Program, an Ottawa based production company has teamed up with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) to distribute giant floor maps of the First World War as an educational tool—and a way to connect to the experiences of Canadian soldiers.

Don't retire—get hired

Putting education, training and experience to work in finding a post-service job.

Women experience mental health differently than men

Are you transitioning to life after service?

Corey Shelson

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Corey Shelson

Business-owner Corey Shelson relies regularly on the skills he gained during his military service.

Mike George

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Mike George

Meet Veteran Mike George, owner of Aurelius Food Co.

Mark Gasparotto

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Mark Gasparotto

Meet Veteran Mark Gasparotto, owner of The Gasparotto Group Corporation.

Nick Hebert

Preserving Canadian military gravesites

A retired Technician with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Nick Hébert now works with Commemoration Division’s Cemetery Maintenance team at Veterans Affairs Canada.

A family’s transition to life after service

Transition is an ongoing process with its own particular challenges. This life change not only affects the person who has served, but also other members of the family. Statistics show that 28 percent of partners and 17 percent of children of Veterans find this period of change to be tough.

3 soldiers in dress uniform standing together for a picture

A releasing Veteran goes back to school

Freshly released as a supply technician from the Canadian Armed Forces earlier this year, Bambi is now a full-time student at the University of Ottawa, with support from Veterans Affairs Canada.

CAF soldiers exiting a C-17 on the tarmac

Who are you when you leave the Canadian Armed Forces?

Serving in the Canadian Armed Forces is unlike any other job. When you enlist you gain an instant family—hundreds of sisters and brothers working together as a unit. This experience has undoubtedly changed your life.

Retired Col. Mark Gasparotto presenting at a seminar

The sooner, the better: when to start thinking about life after service

Mark Gasparotto spent 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces before he released from service. By the time he turned in the last of his kit and signed all the necessarypaperwork, he had been thinking about his transition for a decade.

Entrepreneurs shaking hands

Veteran entrepreneurs build on their military experiences

Meaningful employment is a critical part of your well-being: it ensures financial stability and offers purpose in life outside the CAF. Finding a second career is therefore an important step in your transition.

Father holding child in arms while walking in a field of tall grass

Your new mission

We all adjust differently to major life changes. For you and your family, the transition to post-service life means big changes, and sometimes challenges. It is a unique experience.

Portrait of Natacha Dupuis

Natacha's Story

Every injured Veteran follows their own road to recovery. For Natacha Dupuis, hers led back to a childhood love of athletics and, eventually, an opportunity to once again represent Canada internationally—this time, under far different circumstances.

Portrait of John O'Neill

John's Story

John O’Neill’s service record is a roadmap of places where Canadian service men and women have made a real difference over the past two decades. Bosnia in 1998. Kosovo in 1999. Ethiopia and Eritrea in 2000. Afghanistan in 2007 and again in 2010.

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Building your next career

For many Veterans, leaving the military does not mean retirement. In fact, the majority of Veterans extend their working lives beyond military service. Depending on when you release, you may have years ahead in a post-service career.

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One Veteran speaks about leaving the Forces

An outspoken Veterans’ advocate, Shawn shares his insight on Veteran identity and the challenges and rewards of transition to life after service.

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What do I need to include in my application for a disability benefit?

A complete application for a disability benefit will have all the information needed to determine that you have a diagnosed medical condition related to your service.

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How we review a disability benefit claim

Learn more about how your disability claim is reviewed by the department and particularly, by the adjudicator – a trained decision-maker for disability claims.

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