Above: Denise Kantor, Veteran Family Coordinator Military Family Resource Centre speaking on behalf of the Veteran Family Pilot Project Program.

– Lucie Roy Photo

by Lucie Roy – Morinville News Correspondent

The Edmonton Garrison is one of seven locations chosen for a four-year pilot project to provide medically-released veterans and their families with support for two years from the date of release.

The program serves veterans who have medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) since Nov. 30, 2014.
The Veteran Family Pilot Project Program services include enhanced information and referral services, transition programs, and access to intervention support. The Military Family Services Program (MFSP) extension of services will also include support from Family Information Line (FIL) and the Family Force website.

“When a Canadian Armed Forces member makes the transition from active service to veteran status, their family does too,” said Denise Kantor, Veteran Family Coordinator during the program launch at the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) Jan. 21. “Releasing from the Canadian Armed Forces can be challenging for members and their families, but even more so when the release is the result of a medical condition.”

The seven pilot locations include Edmonton, Esquimalt, Shilo, Trenton, North Bay, Valcartier, and Halifax. The Edmonton MFRC in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada and the Military Family Services will deliver the program.
Kantor said the pilot project will support approximately 1200 CAF members who medically release each year, as well as roughly 700 military spouses and 900 children impacted by the release.

“With this program, the new position of Veteran Family Coordinator has been established at each of the seven pilot sites,” Kantor said. “The Veteran Family Coordinator will assist medically-released Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and their families in the navigation of, and access to, relevant community programs and services.”

A Military Transition to Civilian Life workshop will take place Feb. 24 at the MFRC at 6 p.m. Discussions will include three major transitions: identity, work, and family.

Medically-released CAF veterans and their families are invited to contact Kantor at the Edmonton MFRC for more information on the program. She can be reached at 780-973-4011 ext. 5603 or by email at denise.kantor@forces.gc.ca.

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