The Home Front Medallion was created by Michael Merritt MSW, Meaford Military Family Resource Centre. The medallions are a tangible gift of recognition a member of the Canadian Armed Forces may choose to present to a supportive family member. Initially the pilot project meant to bring into focus, recognize, honour and celebrate the children of military members and veterans, but the program grew according to community needs. Medallions have now been presented to spouses and mothers of soldiers.
Each medallion has the words Faith, Love, Duty arced above a Maple Leaf. These three words were chosen because of their significant contribution to living a rich and fulfilling life. “Below the Maple Leaf are the words, For Family For Country. These words are meant to speak to the recipient’s importance in their military family and to our Dominion as a whole,” said Merritt. The reverse side is blank so it may be personalized with an engraving such as tour dates or special messages. “My intent was to provide the means for a CF member to slow down and consider their unique attachment to a family member who has supported them in their career, then take the time to consider the relationship they have with that loved one. Secondly, I would like the member to think about how they could create a special ceremony around the presentation of the medallion, in order to say those things which often go unsaid.”
The planning of the presentation helps the member to focus their thoughts about their loved one, their attachment to that person and the finer characteristics of their relationship. “I would encourage the medallions be presented in a thoughtful and planned manner so it will be a personal, meaningful and memorable time for everyone. The presentation ceremonies I have heard of were as simplistic as gathering loved ones together at the supper table and as involved as a ceremony planned with the help of the MMFRC. The main thing is that the ceremony is personal to the presenter and to those who receive the medallion. I want to emphasize the medallion is not to be used for volunteer recognition,” said Merritt. Applications for the Home Front Medallion program may be obtained from the Meaford Military Family Resource Centre. The true value of the Medallion program comes from the meaning the member invests in it. “Without the thoughts behind the presentation it’s just a $6 piece of metal. The real value is in the intent of the presentation. Each person who presents a medallion has a different intent, philosophy and presentation. The medallion becomes a symbol of their thoughts and feelings.”
“I hope the member asks themselves what it means to them to give the medallion to a loved ones? What message do they want to attach to it? When they look at the medallion hanging around their neck, what does the member want them to remember? I hope that the recipient of the medallion wears it with pride, and that for them the medallion is a reminder they are honoured, appreciated and loved. My hope too is the medallion will be a reminder of the special relationship they have with the military and with their country.” Over 1300 Home Front Medallions have been presented thus far across the country.
For more information on the Home Front Medallion Program please visit https://www.familyforce.ca/sites/Meaford under the Deployment tab.