The wallet card reminder issued to members of the Canadian Armed Forces on services available to all ill and unjured soldiers.
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Note: the correct URL is: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/caf-community-benefits-ill-injured-deceased/guide.page
None Stand Alone
While preparing information cards for medals in my collection, for a new display case layout to show at an upcoming regimental dinner, I pondered the number of men I have been researching who had also served in other regiments than my own. So many had come from, or gone to other units. For some, it was only during wartime that they served, enlisting each time in a local unit. For others, who served in war and peace, they transferred as needed to continue their service. And others still were moved between units as the Army required, or their abilities to serve made necessary.
In each case, receiving units would have gained the benefits of the training, service and experience those soldiers arrived with. Often they become staunch members of their new units, rising in rank, authority, and receiving the rewards of faithful service. This was not unlike the experiences of so many that I have also served with in past decades.
When viewed from this perspective, it quickly becomes clear that no regiment stands alone. None can call themselves "pure" in the context of having allowed in no influences brought from other regiments. And because of this, we all stand closer than our perceptions of regimental pride and uniqueness might lead us to believe.
Consider the way we often present regimental histories. While it is perhaps true that no regiment ever played a supporting role in its own presentation of its history, often this can be taken to the effect that some regiments seem to stand alone on every battlefield as they tell the story. This approach, tending always to speak of our own regiments as singular entities, easily leads new solders to think their own cap badge led every charge, and mopped up every trench. But that denies the deep symbiosis we have at both the organizational level, where every regiment belongs to a Brigade, and at the personal level, with soldiers moving to and from other units. We are all linked by the brotherhood of past friendships and by blood to the soldiers of so many other units, past and present.
Just as no soldier stands alone on the battlefield, supported by his fire team partner, his "battle buddy," so every regiment stands beside brothers and sisters in arms, meeting each challenge with mutual support and interlocking arcs of fire. These bonds of soldiering cross every boundary, and we better understand our own regiment when we learn to see and understand the many threads of personal connection between our own regiment and the many others in this Army.
As you think about your own connections to other regiments, through your own service or that of those your served with, think about reaching out to them to see how they're doing. You may have a fire team partner now who wears the same badge, but every soldier you have served with, or that your own battle buddies have served with, regardless of cap badge then or now, is equally deserving of your continuing mutual support.