Sarah Crawford spent 10 years in the Canadian Forces serving in Winnipeg, Edmonton, and 7 months in Bosnia delivering supplies around their AOR (area of operations).

“It was an eye-opening experience, life over there is definitely different than what we have over here. And it really made me appreciate my life back here.”

Crawford says she was part of the stabilization forces and didn’t see any direct combat, “We were there to make sure everything stayed peaceful." However, she notes they did get to meet many locals who had been through incredibly hard times in the recent past.

Crawford notes it was difficult to see how life was for the citizens of Bosnia while deployed. “We have so many freedoms here in Canada, we don’t have a lot of restrictions, and when you go there (Bosnia) and see the locals, and know what they went through, you do feel really privileged.”

“We are so fortunate to be living where we do.”

Love discovered Sarah while on pre-deployment training. She met and fell in love with her now-husband Shawn who also served in Bosnia at the same time. They left the Canadian military in 2005, started a family, and have two sons, Aidan and Hunter.

Sarah and Shawn moved on from serving their country overseas to now serving their local community at the Bethesda Regional Hospital with Sarah as a medical laboratory assistant, and Shawn, as a paramedic.

They moved from keeping people safe overseas to now keeping people safe in southeast Manitoba. With that in mind, Crawford reminds everyone to be very cautious, wash your hands, social distance, and to look out for each other.

“These are hard times, people are struggling. Reach out. There are lots of avenues, phone, facetime and do little things. There is nothing wrong with picking up flowers or a card and dropping it at your neighbour's. Check in with everybody.”

“We are all in this together...we have to have each other’s backs.”

Being Remembrance Day, Crawford notes she is brought back to her time in the military. “I remember everyone I served with, all our friendships, different training aspects we went through together.”

“I think of our older veterans. In my opinion, they are the true heroes. I think a lot about them, especially this year with COVID and not being able to honour them as much as we should with services. It’s so hard. I wish we could do more for them but unfortunately, this year we can’t have our services. If anybody knows any older veterans in the area, reach out to them, listen to them, hear their stories. Let those stories live on through you. We really have to remember that generation.”