Brigadier General (Retired) Sheila A. Hellstrom posts her comments on Sisters in Arms. In 1987, Hellstrom became the first woman to be promoted to Brigadier General in the Canadian Forces (both Regular and Reserve):
I thought the DVD was very good although it almost got me off on the wrong foot when the male officer said “a soldier is a soldier” and didn’t know how many women were in the infantry. That took me back to my days in DWP when we had difficulty tracking the # of women in Mobile Command because the army was reluctant to break down the stats by gender. But then I thought of when I was inToronto and a reporter asked me how many women were working for me – I didn’t know either although I could have given him the mil/civ total numbers.
The three women whose stories were told in the film were great. In interviews they were honest and forthright about their feelings/fears/concerns. The combat engineer looked familiar – I may have met her somewhere, perhaps Bosnia… and I would love to see more of the videos the medic took in Afghanistan. I also liked the juxtaposition of archival CWAC material with modern footage.
Initially I thought the coverage of family reaction to the deployment of the daughter/wife, both going and returning, was a bit excessive but in retrospect I believe it was necessary to complete the picture. The comparison between Kim changing occupations and the BGen’s husband getting out, both for family reasons, was a nice touch.
I hope lots of people get a chance to view the film, perhaps on TVO or CBC Doc Zone. Best regards – and happy 100th IWD!