Canadian forces deployments: a family experience
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 13:18 authored by Karla Amirault
Physical absences and deployments are a vivid reality for Canadian Forces (CF) members and their families. Whether for training, course work or overseas deployment, CF members can be absent from their families for weeks, or several months at a time as required for military service. My thesis documentary video, Canadian Forces Deployments: A Family Experience provides a glimpse of military families' experiences of deployment of a CF member to Afghanistan. The objective of this video is to provide a representation of the subgroup of military families that differs from the common mainstream media representations of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan who have been or are absent. The basis of this project is ethnographic research, conducted through interviews with spouses of Canadian Forces' members who are either currently deployed in the overseas mission in Afghanistan; who have recently returned; or who are awaiting deployment. This project provides an overview of the military lifestyle of members and their families and the general context for deployments. In comparison to past CF missions, greater concern and risk accompanies current deployments of Canadian Forces members as Canada is engaged in a combat role in the politically unstable country of Afghanistan. Through on-camera interviews with spouses of CF members, this documentary provides a representation that is different than commonly found in mainstream media where military families are often depicted solely in grief and mourning. This project stems from my personal acquaintance with the Canadian Forces and military lifestyle, growing up with my father who was an officer in the regular force. The film is supplemented by this paper, which will develop the theoretical framework and provide a synthesis of the responses of the interviewees.