The Courier

As the calendar continues to flip over in 2022, posting season is soon approaching for many Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel.

Packing up for a new home may seem scary, but Captain Rachel Brosseau says a little preparation and teamwork among family members can make the move easier.

Brosseau is the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for 4 Wing. CFB Cold Lake is the second stop in her CAF career after her first posting took her to 3 Wing in Bagotville, Quebec. She says moving to a different base can bring some changes that take getting used to.

“Coming from Bagotville, where the work was done predominantly in French, at 4 Wing it’s mostly English. For us being an Anglo couple, Cold Lake has been a little easier from a language perspective. It’s a little more remote than Bagotville, but we have enjoyed some new activities like cross country skiing and camping. Surprisingly, it seemed we had more snow in Bagotville, although this year seemed pretty close.”

Brosseau made the move with her husband, who is also in the CAF, and their dog.

“I had moved around quite a bit before I had joined the military,” says Brosseau. “I’m from Ontario originally. I went to school in London and Oshawa and then on Vancouver Island to do my degree. In the summer I would come back to Ontario and work in Guelph. The biggest difference between a civilian and military move for me was having actual movers come in and pack my things. It’s a huge difference.”

When it was time to find a new home, Brosseau says it was a little different finding a Residential Housing Unit (RHU) due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Because of COVID-19, we didn’t come and do a house-hunting trip. We just did it over the phone, so the Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) sent us a picture, saying they had the unit available and gave us the specs of it. We were looking for something detached and luckily one had come up. We were lucky enough to have a friend that lived in the same neighborhood who went over and took some more pictures for us. It was very different not being able to go in and look through them, but we’re really happy with our RHU.”

“When we had first got here, the movers had unloaded all of our stuff in the house, and it can become almost overwhelming at that moment thinking about making things fit,” adds Brosseau.  “We took advantage of the separate unload day and had the movers return the next day to  start unpacking things and that was super helpful. As we made space, unpacking and planning became easier.”

Brosseau says that once you experience your first move, the process will become easier, but adds that a little homework before the big day goes a long way in helping.

“Now that I’ve done one, it will be a lot easier knowing how the process works. I had gone through and read the directives and found answers to questions like ‘How many days do we get to move?’ and ‘How long will it take the movers?’ and that helped.”

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