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Happy Mother’s Day: one military mother reflects on her experience having three sons in the Canadian Armed Forces


Acknowledging the vital part played by Canadian military families is not just a matter of gratitude, it’s a core value of the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025, presented by ATCO and Boeing. Canadian military families play such a pivotal and important role behind the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). One of the goals for the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 is to shine a light on CAF members and their families’ stories. 

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we had the honour of chatting with Lacey Warrington, mother of three boys who are all actively serving in CAF. Lacey is extremely supportive of the journey her boys are on and was kind enough to speak with us about her experience as a military mother of three.  

“It gives me a great sense of pride to have three of my boys actively serving in the military,” she says. “The sacrifices they have all made [from] a young age (all three joined at age 17) [are] remarkable and hard to believe. The mature, responsible and disciplined young men they have become is incredible. I am a very proud military Mom.” 

Some of the unique challenges facing military families, which many of us don’t encounter, are the distance and constant movement of many CAF members. This takes a very real toll on many military families, including Lacey’s. She explains:  

“I am very proud of [my sons’] military service but there have been challenges that come with it. I have missed spending many of their birthdays with them, my one son missed his grade 12 graduation ceremony because he was away training. Communication has been sparse at times when they were deployed overseas or in field training. I feel I have missed watching them develop into the incredible young men that they are. The worry as a mom and having my boys all deployed was difficult and challenging.” 

The reality of serving or having family members who serve often involves missing important events and milestones. CAF members may miss birthdays or family celebrations due to training or deployment, as an example. 

“Life has changed drastically since they joined the military,” Lacey elaborates.  “I have missed five birthdays with my oldest boys, missed out on seeing them buy their first cars, move into their first homes, missed seeing my youngest cross the stage to graduate. The house feels empty with them not being here. I have two other children that have missed many moments with their brothers. My life has also changed in that there is a worry about how they are, how can I support them from afar – the what-ifs are difficult. The times when we can’t talk because they are in the field or deployed are hard and that is felt by all members of the family. But I know this is the path they have chosen, and I am beyond proud of them as is their entire family.” 

Lacey highlights the importance of finding a community and support systems with people in a similar situation. Dealing with the unknowns while a loved one is deployed is a difficult thing, and finding a community of people who are also going through something similar is vital. Online communities can be a great way to network with other parents and relatives of military members. 

“I haven’t met many military families close to where I live but those in my community that know me and my boys are very supportive and often ask how my boys are doing. I think people in the community could support parents of active members by recognizing how tough it is to have our children away and actively serving. The military family resource center plays a vital role in supporting families of active members. They hold events and activities to honor us and recognize the important role we play in our military members’ lives. Support groups on social media have also been very helpful and talking to other parents who understand the position I am in.” 

Although Lacey’s sons are currently stationed all over the country, they spend time together when they can, typically around the hyolidays. 

Lacey continued, “My son Corporal T. White is stationed in Edmonton, PPCLI, my other son, his twin, Corporal R. White is stationed in Shilo, PPCLI and my youngest son, Corporal C. Warrington is stationed in Vancouver, BCR.  I get to see my oldest two usually at Christmas and summer, except when deployed one was away for Christmas. I also try to visit them when I can. My youngest is stationed close to home and I get to see him all the time, but he is being deployed and I won’t see him for 6 months.   

On this very special day, each of Lacey’s three sons has left us with a personal Thank-you message for his mother. 

Corporal Ryker White; 

“For always supporting and believing in us and pushing us to be better than before and showing us how it’s done.”   

Corporal Tanner White; 

“For always being there for us and encouraging us to keep going and for inspiration from your own goals in life, such as you joining search and rescue.”   

Corporal Cody Warrington; 

“For supporting and encouraging us to continue to do our job, always being interested and willing to learn other than just acting like it’s nothing and not being interested in our job. As well as attending as many ceremonies and events as possible. Thank you for attending November 11, 2022, and November 11, 2023, Remembrance Day Parades as well as a Christmas family day held at Beatty Street Drill Hall BCR(DCO).”   

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