I never imagined I would end up in Petawawa and to be honest I came kicking and screaming. In the early years as a military spouse I had heard a couple urban legends about Petawawa and vowed to never move there. At the time I believed my husband would serve his whole career in Chilliwack. And then the base closed. We moved to Edmonton, then London and then the inevitable, Petawawa.
I considered moving to Petawawa on the condition that our children were able to enroll into a certain school. They did and we moved. The year was 2007 and when I arrived I didn’t own a stitch of red. I was in the mindset that I was married to a military member, I moved with him and I supported him; hence, I supported the troops why did I need to wear red. Then I met Jill Kruse.
Week in and week out Jill donned her red on Fridays. At the time we were enrolled in a French class at the base language school. We were group of five or six wives learning French, but also supporting each other while our husbands were training and being deployed overseas. Jill was a fellow writer, our daughters were friends, our husbands worked together and we both moved to Petawawa to support our husbands on their need to serve their country.
Her unwavering support for the troops was contagious. She wore red to support her husband, and all of the men and women who serve our country. She never asked why I wasn’t wearing red, nor did she tell me to wear red. But eventually, Fridays became the day that I too would wear red.