You must go a long way east on highway 20 to get close to Bruno. Once in the Trois-Pistoles area, you need good contacts to get to his door.

Bruno is a 47-year-old former military man. He stays with Manon, his wife, and Jeremy, their 16-year-old son. They found a nice ancestral house built a bit back from the road, discreetly nestled behind mature trees. They have been living in the Bas-St-Laurent for 3 years since Bruno was released from the Canadian Armed Forces. Bruno had been thinking about it for a long time: after the army, he was going to go back home, back to where he grew up. For him, it was necessary, it was vital.

Alone, together

The details of his separation from the Forces are not well-known. Bruno is a guy who doesn’t talk much, except with his girlfriend, but then again, big discussions are not very common in the couple. You only have to be around Bruno and Manon a little to quickly feel that something is weighing on the veteran’s shoulders. This heaviness is palpable on a daily basis, and Manon could talk about it for a long time. She sometimes has the impression that she is alone in her relationship, which is a strange feeling, isn’t it?

The sweet life?

You have to look at the bright side of things. Life is still very sweet in Bas-St-Laurent. The countryside has its charm and its advantages: the calm, the fresh air, the impression that stress is a notion that belongs to the big cities. In terms of work, Bruno has always been skilled at fixing all sorts of things. In fact, in his neighbourhood, some people offer him various small jobs here and there. It keeps him busy, and it pays a little. For Manon, it’s different. The pandemic has led her to get a job that she can do remotely. Practical, but unlike her boyfriend, Manon needs to see more people. More and more often, she thinks about her former life in Quebec City. Visits to her parents’ house, the famous dinners with long-time friends and especially outings with Julia. Julia is her grown daughter from a previous marriage, a few years before she met Bruno. She is now 19 years old, she has started her adult life and is studying at Cegep de Lévis, and after that here comes university… For Manon, the idea of going to the stores or out to dinner with her grown-up daughter is a sweet memory that she would like to bring back more often in her reality.

Manon is convinced that the day will never come when Bruno will want to pack up and start over somewhere else. When Manon thinks about it, a whole world seems to separate her from her old life. The reclusive life has lost its appeal over time. You end up feeling far away from your own, even money starts to get tight, and it becomes an issue too. So many things to deal with without even knowing how or where to start.

An unexpected helping hand

Last spring, Manon went to the CLSC near her home. It was while talking to a nurse that she heard about the Valcartier Military Family Resource Centre. She knew the name, but nothing more. The nurse told her about the many free services available to military families and to veterans themselves! Those who live in remote areas can opt for virtual services. This is great news!

Hope Lives On

Manon returned home with her head full of hope. She sat at her computer and browsed the VMFRC website. It seemed like many problem she had could finally be solved! Perhaps the Employment Assistance Service could help Bruno get back into the workforce for good, and the guidance counsellors could even analyze his skills learned in the Forces and help him find equivalencies in the civilian job market. Manon noted the many workshops and trainings offered by the Veterans Family Program. She also read that the VMFRC offers couples counselling. A service that has not gone unnoticed. A few meetings with a professional and qualified counsellor could go a long way in helping her couple continue their journey together. The Valcartier Military Family Resource Centre might not solve everything with a wave of its magic wand, but… there is hope.

And it finally gets better

The family was quickly taken in charge by the Centre and the consultations were successful. Bruno is slowly coming out of his shell and the heaviness that was palpable on a daily basis is getting lighter every day. The couple plans on going out more often and on finding activities that will bring them closer together. Visiting family more often is also a short-term plan. The Valcartier MFRC has also referred Jeremy to youth organizations in his area to get a chance to see some new faces. It seems like the whole family is breathing easier.

Are you a member of a veteran family? Are you a veteran? The VMFRC is here for you.

To contact us or to find out more about us and the services available to you virtually or in person:

1 877 844-6060 or at

Don’t forget our Facebook page: