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Women's History Month was created in 1992 to encourage greater awareness among Canadians of the historical contributions of women to our society, and to recognize the achievements of women as a vital part of our Canadian Heritage.

It was a great pleasure for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board (VRAB) to be tasked with the coordination of Women's History Month activites in October 1998, for the Employment Equity Special Events of Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). A committe was formed and activites planned, one of which was the Portfolio-wide activity called "My Grandmother's Wartime Diary." All VAC employees were invited to contribute wartime stories from their mothers, grandmothers, and friends, of their experiences during the Second World War both at home and in wartime service, all with the goal in mind – "service to their country." The response received was overwhelming! Stories came in from across the country, most of which were shared with VAC employees via e-mail each day throughout the month.

With support and financial commitments from Communications, Commemoration, Human Resources and the Chair, and VRAB, these stories have been compiled and made available to VAC employees as well as the women who provided them through this booklet.

We have attempted to keep these stories in their original form, only editing a few longer ones to make them shorter, thus preserving the stories the way they were written.

This project has resulted in what we had hoped it would be. It is a heartwarming look at people's lives during the war – their troubles, heartbreaks, tragedies, triumphs, and most of all their unwavering courage and strength through very difficult times. One thread that connects these stories is the love and dedication of these women and the humour and remembrance of good times that shine through.

Debbie Thomas and Margaret Dawson
Veterans Review and Appeal Board
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