CF Families

Building Bridges – Kim Mills

Showing resiliency as a military spouse through the power of words, Kim Mills engaged audiences in a virtual setting on the topic of becoming resilient as a military spouse. Mills was the first speaker of the Building Bridges virtual series, an initiative between PEI MFRC and True Patriot Love.

Entitled “Musings of a Canadian Military Spouse,” Mills shared with audiences her experiences as a military spouse, mother of three, writer, speaker and advocate for military families.

Mills writes her own blog, “She is Fierce,” chronicling her experiences as a military spouse.

In her presentation, Mills focused on letting her audience know that being a military spouse and managing through deployments is more about thriving than enduring.

Thirty participants across Canada tuned in to hear Mills speak about resiliency and working together with the community.

“Resiliency is not about giving free stuff to military families; resiliency is about building community to support in times of trials and challenges. Kim’s point to build resiliency in military families through building community highlighted: ‘we are not an island’ and ‘It takes a village’,” said Margaret A. MacKenzie, Virtual Program Coordinator, MFRC-PEI.

Mills’ talk impacted listeners in various ways, each embracing a different aspect.

“Resiliency is also about community, and community is not about judging. It’s vital to create community, and some of the activities Kim mentioned included spouses’ night out and deployment dinners (when Kim’s husband was away on deployment, Kim would invite various members of her community over for dinner every Sunday evening—she got to know so many people … what a great idea, Kim!),” wrote Christine Gordon Manley, Communications Manager at MFRC PEI, in a review of the session.

The Building Bridges series was initiated to reach those military families facing various challenges and share the experiences of a respected community leader who has also faced adversity.

“We chose Kim Mills because she’s a military spouse with a voice and we need to have a voice, and her voice is strong, her voice is detailed, and her voice is focused,” noted MacKenzie.

Mills not only shared her experiences with various members of the military community but also with her parents, who joined in the call to hear her speak for the first time, demonstrating a different kind of resiliency.

“That gave me goose bumps because they must have been so proud of her when she was speaking from the heart. She was excited to share that with her parents for the first time,” recalled MacKenzie.

Building Bridges is a joint effort between the PEI MFRC and True Patriot Love. The purpose of the sessions is to provide support to military families, members and veterans who may be facing any kind of trauma or mental health crisis. The organizations also hope to help healthcare professionals better understand the culture of veterans and their families enabling them to treat mental health disorders in the best way possible.

Other speakers in the series included 20-year CAF veteran, Jody Mitic and Vince Savoia, Founder and Executive Director of The Tema Conter Memorial Trust.

For more information or to obtain an audio copy of the session with Kim Mills, visit the PEI MFRC Facebook page or email [email protected].

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine