The Strength Behind The Uniform

Priscilla Blake, Navy, Canadian, Memoria, PO2 Craig Blake

Once in a while we have people come into our world and put life into perspective for us. You hear their story and their struggles and you learn the value of human life. You understand something just a little bit bigger than yourself.

My dear friend Priscilla Blake came into my life in the fall of 2012. I had just left school to take care of my health and focus on healing, when I met Priscilla at an event I helped a friend put together called “Workout For the Fallen” — an event aimed at honouring our war heroes that live and have lived in our own back yard, fighting for our freedom. Priscilla’s husband PO2 Craig Blake was one of the unfortunate ones. Craig was only a few weeks into his first tour of Afghanistan when an IED killed him and injured a fellow soldier. Craig was the first Canadian Sailor to die overseas in the war. His death came on the eve of the Navy’s 100th anniversary, a time of celebration. While the military community gathered for the celebrations in Parade Square in Halifax Nova Scotia, it was with heavy hearts we learned of Blake’s passing.

I distinctly remember hearing this news. This was my first parade with my Navy boyfriend. I had only just begun my journey as a military spouse, learning the lingo and understanding the protocol. But I understood what this meant. This was huge. This was earth shattering. For the first time I second guessed my lifestyle choice. Could I handle that news? Could anyone?

Priscilla Blake and her family are “the strength behind the uniform” personified. She handles life with grace and dignity, protecting and empowering her two brave children. Her entrance into my world has completely changed my outlook on life. Without knowing it, she’s taught me about what it means to be a military wife. I can confidently say Priscilla leaves a foot print on everyone she meet’s heart. I am so honoured to have her in my life and I treasure our friendship.

PO2 Craig Blake

Saturday afternoon, the community gathered at the former Montebello Park in Dartmouth for the renaming in honour of Craig. The park will forever be known as “PO2 Craig Blake Memorial Park” and as one of the speakers so eloquently put it, children will forever ask their parents who Craig was, when they visit the park. They’ll learn about the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country and they’ll learn about the Blake family who remained the strength behind the uniform.

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Where have I been?

When I started as a Community Correspondent, I was un-employed. I spent my days at home in bed looking for work and blogging about mental health. Just over a month ago I started my first ever big girl job. I’m full time and I work 10 – 6, Monday to Friday. A dream come true! But by the time I get home from work, I am too exhausted to blog. My after-work time is very precious. It’s usually filled with eating, exercising, and chatting with my boyfriend. and SLEEPING! My job can be pretty emotionally exhausting. But having that stability in my life has been such a fantastic form of therapy. 

I want to apologize for not blogging more. It’s been a crazy time for me but I promise I will set aside time in the week to blog. I’m realizing how precious time really is! 

A room full of puppies!

A room full of puppies!

Much to the excitement of the entire campus, Dalhousie University opened their puppy room yesterday. Dogs of all shapes and sizes were there to cuddle and kiss the students to help reduce their stress. Although only a temporary fix to exam stress, the puppy room seems to be going over well. I like what the Student Union rep said about the point being to show students that they care, listen to them, and want to reduce the stigma. YAY FOR STIGMA REDUCTION! Go Dal, you guys rock!

I have yet to go see them. I am hoping to pop by on Thursday afternoon. If I go, I will get so many pictures to share. I’ll keep you posted.

Puppy correspondent,

Stephanie R