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Serving the community—in service and after

Jason and Christie Green at the World's Most Northerly 9-Hole Golf Course, Holman, NT.

Jason and Christie Green at the World's Most Northerly 9-Hole Golf Course, Holman, NT.

Jason Green was born on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick, where his parents and brother still live. He remembers that he always wanted to join the RCMP, from the time he was little. “My Mom still has a card I made showing how much I wanted to be a Mountie.”

“The Mountie is a symbol of safety and security, looked up to by the community and society,” he explains. Also, he knew that serving in the RCMP would provide him with an opportunity to see the rest of Canada, while helping people in local communities.

Happily, the RCMP recruited him in 2005 after he graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in psychology and history.

His first posting was to Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. He welcomed living in this small, isolated community on the Mackenzie River. “I was 21, looking for adventure,” he said. “Up there, I saw things I never have before.” Because the town is on the Arctic Circle, there are days of continuous daylight in the summer, and of 24-hour nights.

Jason relished the opportunity to learn about the Dene culture, very different from what he knew growing up. “I spent 28 months there. It was life-changing.” Still, he did notice some similarities to the life on Grand Manan. “They’re both hunting and fishing-based communities, where people live close to the land. It’s a huge part of their identity.”

After Fort Good Hope, he became Acting Commander of an RCMP station in Ulukhokto, previously called Holman Island, even farther north—on Victoria Island. “Up there, it doesn’t take long to get opportunities to advance.”

After two and a half years in the Arctic, Jason transferred to Forensic Science and Identification Services, which required training and a three-year “apprenticeship” program in St. Paul, Alberta. “It was like starting school again.”

The unit in St. Paul provided forensic identification service to a broad range of RCMP detachments across western Canada. “It was a very busy posting with a lot of excitement. I got to know a lot of RCMP members. I really enjoyed it.” It was during this time that Jason married Christie, and they had their first child, Olivia.

But after a number of injuries during his RCMP career, Jason’s health began to deteriorate. In 2014, he took a medical release, and settled back in Saint. John, NB.

New careers after service

He tried different jobs, including as a long-haul trucker. Three months in, he knew this career wasn’t for him. He then took courses in power engineering, and worked in electrical maintenance in gas plants and factories in New Brunswick.

In 2018, he and Christie welcomed twins, Max and Katie, who were born with special needs. Jason and Christie soon learned how challenging it can be to navigate the services available to support their special needs.

That led Jason to a realization that it can be just as challenging to find all the services and programs that support Veterans, their families and caregivers.

Jason at the launch of the non-profit Veterans Connections to Homes.

Jason at the launch of the non-profit Veterans Connections to Homes.

“I felt I was very well supported through my release and transition, between the RCMP and Veterans Affairs,” he says. “I was able to see a consulting psychologist right at the start.”

But many who release from the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces encounter barriers to receiving the services they’re entitled to. “A lot of people don’t realize they’re Veterans,” Jason explains. These include reservists and those who only completed basic training, then released.

“I remember talking with a lady who was not receiving anything from VAC, who said ‘Oh, I just did a thing for the Navy for four years.’ Well, she worked for the Navy, as a reservist, and was entitled to programs. If you’ve served at all, there are services and programs to support you.

“You don’t have to have served overseas,” he continues. “As long as you have completed basic training, you are a Veteran.

That led Jason to begin guiding Veterans, families and caregivers through the benefits system. Today, he concentrates on helping them find housing for Veterans in New Brunswick.

He recently began a new position on the Human Development Council, managing the office of the non-profit Veterans Connections to Homes. The organization comprises three people: Jason himself, and two part-time people from the John Howard Society of Moncton, NB, and the Shelters, another community organization that sources housing. Partner organizations include the Built for Zero Project of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, the Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada.

Jason’s job is to help ensure that Veterans receive the help they need. “There are services available, there is enough funding, but someone needs to coordinate it.”

In 2022, the initiative helped 12 Veterans and their families find sustainable housing in New Brunswick. “There is a housing crisis now in New Brunswick, just as there is across the country. There’s a shortage of housing stock.” Getting people into housing requires that all the agencies involved work together in a team approach.

And while Jason is helping coordinate these initiatives, he’s also gone back to school. He’s working on a Master’s degree in psychology at Yorkville University, based in Fredericton. He expects to complete his degree in the fall of 2025.

And then? It’s no surprise, “I’d like to use that degree to help Veterans and families with special needs.”

Tips

  • First, understand that as long as you completed basic training, you are a Veteran and are entitled to programs and services from VAC and other organizations.
  • Don’t wait thinking that you do not have resources that you need to succeed in life after service. Reach out to community organizations that can guide you to the programs you’re entitled to. These are not hand-outs; you have earned them.
  • Remember that you may feel down, but you’re definitely not out. You can rebuild and your life can look good again.

If you or someone you know is transitioning to life after service, check our website for services related to mental and physical health, finances, education or jobs and housing and home life. We also provide services to families and caregivers who support our Veterans.


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