426 Squadron spouse recognized for lead role in building family community

News Article / July 29, 2021

By Holly Bridges

Honours and awards ceremonies are familiar occurrences to serving members; however, it is a rare event where a military spouse receives an award of recognition. On June 23rd at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, Sarah Rozema-Seaton received such recognition when she was presented with the Spirit of Military Families medallion from the Commander of the RCAF, Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger. Ms. Rozema-Seaton is an RCAF spouse living in Trenton with her husband and three children.

During the virtual ceremony, Ms. Rozema-Seaton was praised for her lead role in coordinating, communicating and creating connections for the families of 426 Transport and Training Squadron through the development of their squadron family Facebook group, a quarterly newsletter highlighting upcoming events and information bulletins, in addition to coordinating fun and exciting family events for families (pre-Covid) and virtual events during Covid.

Ms. Rozema-Seaton has been pivotal in helping to build a strong sense of connection between families and the squadron. These communication channels have created an immediate social circle of fellow spouses and parents to call on for support and friendship, generating a feeling of belonging that normally takes years to build. The community has also been an informal way for squadron leadership, including the Commanding Officer and Chief Warrant Officer, who are both members of the private Facebook group, to get to know their members’ families, encouraging fun and friendly conversations about squadron issues and concerns, ensuring families are receiving accurate information and generally de-mystifying the role of command teams to families. This has made their command team more accessible directly to their members and families - and thus better able to support them.

Ms. Rozema-Seaton was not aware that she would be receiving this medallion. “This was a very unexpected day. It was lovely to hear what the Commander of the RCAF had to say about the Thunderbird families. The members and their families have really made an impression and is an exceptional example of community. I’m just so proud to be a part of it.” she said.

Spirit of Military Families medal

The Canadian Maple Tree is symbolic of military families' support, strength and resilience; its deep roots are able to withstand all weather with the promise of a lifetime of growth and change. The branches and leaves on the tree represent the communities in which military families live - they are far reaching and full of life - they support the tree in all seasons no matter what.

The child embodies the mind, heart and soul of all family members. The child is proudly holding on - and has lots of experience with the hardship of saying goodbye and the heart-warming of a welcome home. The military family is proud and this coin provides solid proof that the challenges and achievements of all those who have supported a loved one serving has been a life dedicated to something bigger than themselves - and to something they believe in - it has been worth every sacrifice - that something is freedom.

The gift of a coin symbolizes your achievements and it is given to you with respect and acknowledgment of your significant contribution to the spirit of the Military Family: The Strength Behind the Uniform.

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