Representing the Community with Strategic Leadership
Message from the Chair:
(I apologize for the lateness of getting this up on the site!)
Welcome to February, the month of Love and Family!
This month, Valentine's Day and Family Day fall within the same weekend, allowing us to focus and bask in an explosion of loving, familial celebration!
There is a well-known biblical passage I paraphrase here: “There is no greater love than this; to lay down your life for your friends”.
In this respect, military members exemplify love through service and in their understanding and willingness to potential ultimate sacrifice. With each activity, military members undergo training, recognizing that they may one day need to use it in defense, protection, and engagement, in situations where the circumstances are dire and dangerous.
In that same vein, military families exemplify love through their own sacrifices – not the mortal sacrifice, but in the myriad sacrifices and “laying downs” that they make in support of their service members. Military family members may sacrifice time, energy, stability, long-term employment and careers, proximity to friends and family, predictable scheduling, financial comfort and equity, and established roots through their backing and care of their member. No less difficult, is experiencing the emotional gamut of worry, stress and faith in their soldier’s actions. This love includes acceptance of this way of life and the choosing of this form of service. This existence is an incredible form of selfless love.
As we face all the challenges of military service and being a military family, finding the courage and desire to intentionally be our best selves even when life gets more challenging is not easy. It can be difficult to remain positive and engaged when times get tough. But what military love teaches us, is how to be truthful, and how to communicate.
Being a military family doesn’t mean accepting everything without conflict, without analysis, or without pain. That total acceptance isn’t love, it’s simply tolerance and sometimes martyrdom, and doesn’t healthily address the issues that may arise. A deeper love is the freedom, the ability, to talk through issues, to fight, to disagree, and to have your feelings validated on both sides. To choose love in this difficult relationship means to be willing to negotiate, to compromise, to communicate, to tap into self-control, and sometimes to sacrifice our desire to be right or to fulfil our own needs.
Love within our context means facing challenges that may not arise in other careers and lifestyles. It is learning to build and keep intimacy, often through distances. It is re-learning each other after separations, and in our new contexts. It is building and maintaining trust. And, in some cases, is loving someone through trauma, mental health issues, and other injuries. In this, we must cultivate our self-love. More than anything, this self-love is how we think, feel, and act, and reflects and determines our relationship to ourselves, to others, and to the world.
Love can mean building your strength network. Friendship is a huge form of love, without which military families would not survive. Having a community of support brings a special kind of love which strengthens and bolsters through the most difficult of times. Love is about bond building – within your relationship, and without. Being open to love – through acceptance of support, reaching out, and humbling yourself – can empower and embolden you.
For military members, while they may not term it as love, the unit or regimental family becomes a loving place. The fraternal or sororal bonds that are built in training and working together establish deep roots. That is why when we experience military losses, we all feel it deeply. We experience an empathetic love because of our shared experience.
For the greek philosopher Plato, love was aimed at beautiful and good things, because the possession of beautiful and good things is called “happiness”, and happiness is an end-in-itself. We have beautiful and good things in our lives – purpose, drive, community, support, engagement, wisdom and experience, and an understanding of our truth. Of all beautiful and good things, the best, most beautiful, and most dependable to Plato was those elements of truth or wisdom – “he whom love touches not walks in darkness”.
All of this to say, that I believe military members and their families are shining beacons of love; are paragons of the multitude of types of love that exist. We are surrounded by, and infused by love, and reflect that love light back into the world.
At the same time, we celebrate the Family - the individual family units, the military community family, the regimental families. We recognize the the success of Canada's defense depends on our people. The CAF members are devoted to serving their country, and we are equally committed to our duty to improve the assistance, services, and care we provide them and their families throughout every stage of their journey. We applaud the families - in every iteration - for contributing to the health, safety, resilience, confidence and capability of our soldiers, and hope to enable the families to be the same.
Happy Love Day (14 February) and Happy Family Day (17 February!)
Confident. Capable. Resilient.
Chair of the Board of Directors
What We Do
The Toronto MFRC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with a mandate of majority military family member representation, which reports through a governance and oversight structure to the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services Branch (CFMWS) through Military Family Services (MFS).
Board members are elected by the Community. We assess local needs, in order to avoid duplication of community services and resources, while determining priorities, providing leadership, and ensuring the mandated delivery of the national Military Family Services Program. The Board of Directors provides governance and oversight through the lens of proper support for our families, helping the Executive Director in setting strategic direction and guiding implementation of activities and programming.
Please note that the Board is presently at capacity with all Executive and Director spaces filled.
However, we still welcome new members who may wish to fulfil non-Director Associate roles by sitting on committees. Are you a passionate advocate for military and veteran families? Do you want to help the TMFRC improve our offerings and meet our goals? Consider joining one of these Committees.
We meet the third Wednesday of each month, at 6:00 pm, at the Centre.
Unable to attend in person? We can accommodate you via phone/web!
Interested members may email the Board Chair at email@example.com.
Chair: Marsali Federico
Vice Chair: Emily Callaghan
Treasurer: Ann Ward
Secretary: To be elected in October
Executive Director, Toronto MFRC
Commanding Officer's Representative, representing the CO, 4 CDSG Personnel Support Services
Captain Kevin Brady, 4th Canadian Division Support Group Garrison Toronto
Other Local Unit Representatives
LCol Anthony Robb, 4th Canadian Divison Headquarters
Lieutenant Cameron Rose, 32 Canadian Brigade Group
Master Corporal Patricia Coulas, Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment
Vacant, Canadian Forces College