The Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has been providing assistance and resources to military members, veterans, and their direct families for more than 20 years, but there is one community they wish to connect more with: parents of enrolled members.
“We exist for the whole family of a military member or a feteran,” said executive director Tracy Cromwell. “But, often, parents – especially those of new members – don’t realize we are here for them, too.”
The group is hosting an event this Saturday and inviting adult family members of the military.
Cromwell explained that, due to the nature of military work, sometimes a parent of an active member might live in a different geographical location from their military family member.
“It doesn’t matter where in the world your military member is posted,” Cromwell noted. “If you live in the Mainland B.C. region, and you have a child serving in the military, we are here for you.”
The BC Mainland MFRC can assist parents by offering a supportive ear and understanding of the steep learning curve that comes with becoming part of a military family. This can be especially helpful if the parent was not involved in the military prior to their child enlisting.
Additionally, the BC Mainland MFRC assists with mailing packages to deployed service members, at no cost to the family.
“When you hear about families of military members or veterans, most people automatically think of a spouse, partner, or children,” Cromwell said. “But that military member could be of any age and belong to a variety of family dynamics. We know that younger members, especially, typically have parents who could use some support, navigating this new world. We’re here for everyone. If you have a family member in the military, we are here for you.”
Langley mother Lacey Warrington knows all too well the value the MFRC offers parents of enrolled members, like her. Two of her sons are deployed – one in the UK helping to train Ukrainian recruits and one in Latvia supporting NATO’s efforts; another son is preparing to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
“It’s great that the MFRC offers services like Morale Mail, where people can drop off packages for military members who are deployed, but I especially appreciate the opportunity to connect with other families. Talking with people going through the same thing is so important,” Warrington said. “I’ve appreciated the support I’ve received, and now I want to be there for other families.”
The information session in Langley is part of a community outreach program to try and meet some of these parents, as well as facilitate parents meeting each other. Participants will meet for an informal Q&A session, which will be followed by a hike through Campbell Valley Park. The event takes place on Saturday, June 3 from 10:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event is free to attend, but participants are asked to register in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is an adults-only event.