Home front. It's hard to separate that expression from war. In the First and Second World Wars, the home front was a clear entity and location: if you weren't on the frontlines, you were on the home front. But during current times of peacekeeping, peacemaking and armed interventions, the notion of home front seems to comprise only those who are in some way directly affected by the military: family and friends of soldiers, returning soldiers or ex-soldiers—an invisible group camouflaged by everyday jobs and activities.
Editors Barb Howard and Joan Dixon have compiled insightful essays and reflections from 14 writers, including Melanie Murray, Scott Waters, Ryan Flavelle and Chris Turner. All have found themselves, at one time or another, embedded on the home front. And even though each experience is unique and comes from a single perspective, common motifs surface: family, fate, death and memory. This anthology captures triumphs, incredible fortitude and humour, often in the face of grief, as well as the complicated logic, fears, anger and other everyday realities that are part of home-front life.close this panel
"A powerful must-read, not only for civilians wanting to understand more about military life in all its aspects, but also for the military partner, child, parent and friend, whose feelings will be validated by Embedded on the Home Front." —Hanna Robertson, Military Spouse and Deployment & Outreach Coordinator for Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre
"The stories, ranging from the deeply moving to amusing, offer an engaging read from several different perspectives and personalities from across the country. . . . While our nation's first 21st century war looms large in this collection, other stories, such as Howard's experience growing up as the child of a reservist, take a broader look at the disconnect between comfortable Western life and our country's warrior culture, which the Afghan war has brought into stark relief." —Val Fortney, Calgary Herald
"Embedded on the Home Front is full of compelling and thought provoking essays that capture the emotions, fortitude, and occasional humour that comprise the daily realities of life for those left at home when military members leave." —Vicki L. Morrison, Canadian Military Family Magazine
"Although many of the chapters include heartbreak and loss, it is inspirational to read about how these families are able to overcome such tragedies. . . . Embedded on the Home Front was able to bring forward the complex relationship of where military and civilian lives combine, from a variety of different perspectives and experiences." —Sarah Ritchie, Grapevine
"[Embedded on the Home Front] provides an insight into what members of the Canadian Forces sacrifice when they serve in the military. For families with an intimate knowledge of the home front, this anthology is a powerful reminder that even though they get no medals, accolades or media coverage . . . they're not alone. Even for people with no connection to the military, Embedded on the Home Front provides an understanding of what it is like to be here at home while a loved one, in one form or another, is connected to the military life." —Rob Alexander, Rocky Mountain Outlook
"Moving and thought provoking . . . a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the extent to which Canada's involvement in Afghanistan and earlier conflicts has affected the lives of ordinary Canadians." —Dr. Anne Irwin, military anthropologist and former member of the Canadian Forcesclose this panel