A passionate advocate for military members, veterans, and their families, military mom and Member of Parliament Sherry Romanado was recently appointed as parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
In this new role, Romanado is working hard to ensure the voices of families are heard.
“I’m working very closely with my colleagues at national defence and veterans affairs to do what is best for the families of our serving members, as well as our serving members and those who have served our country,” said Romanado.
Romanado became a newcomer in the political arena when she was elected for the riding of Longueuil-Charles-LeMoyne, in 2015. Before her political career, Romanado worked in higher education, working in administration and teaching at McGill University for several years.
Her role as a military mom inspired her to enter politics.
“I wasn’t too happy about how our military, their families and our veterans were being treated, so I decided to run for federal office,” recalled Romanado.
Since joining office, she’s been on the standing committee for both national defence and veterans affairs, giving her invaluable insight.
“I had the unique opportunity to see the issues from the time of recruitment until the time someone, unfortunately, is no longer with us,” noted Romanado.
She also served on the committee for electoral reform.
During this time, the military mom has learned the intricacies of parliament and gained memorable experience, including meeting with her constituents.
“I’ve had a great opportunity to meet with people that probably I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet, heard some good feedback from citizens on the ground, great ideas. If you give them a chance you’d be surprised that so many people want to be involved and have really good ideas, if only we would listen,” observed Romanado.
While dedicating herself to her constituents, Romanado also balances her family life; which can be challenging at time with her family in different parts of the country.
Romanado’s family is spread across the country with her two sons currently serving in the military. Though keeping in touch is definitely easier thanks to technology, Romanado says her family lives for long weekends.
Through her experiences, she’s learned that keeping the lines of communication open with loved ones serving in the military is a must, as is remaining tied to the overall military family.
“I just realize how important that military family aspect is, that when one is suffering, we reach out and stick together,” noted Romanado.
She’s applying this knowledge to her career in politics and strongly believes that families will have a better voice in the new defence policy review.
Romanado also believes the future is bright for Canadian Armed Forces members transitioning out.
“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to close that seam in this mandate so we can make sure those families and those transitioning members are supported,” said Romanado.
While the government works towards fulfilling its promises, Romanado ensures the military community that they can always feel free to reach out to her.
“My door is always open for a fellow military family, and you’re not in it alone,” said Romanado.