Interviewer: And I think about the families,
when a soldier like yourself returns home,
do they really understand what you've
gone through and then you have to enter
into family life again...
That's tough and they don't understand.
There's, there's, you know unless you're there,
serving, going through instances together no
one will understand really what you went
through and when I came home
for my leave, my two-week leave
I actually flew out of Sarajevo.
So, I had been in Sarajevo for
about three weeks, jumped on
an American Herc aircraft, went from
Sarajevo to Baden-Baden, got off the plane,
jumped in my car and went home.
And my wife had a picnic planned that very
day and my son was three years old and
we were going to go have a picnic and
I could not step on the grass.
I couldn't walk off the pavement and
I had this and I'll never forget it,
this physical, emotional reaction.
This knot in my stomach and the
reason being is cause in Bosnia
you don't walk on the grass.
Days prior, Corporal Denis Reid had
his foot blown off in our
very camp when he stepped
on the mine and so that,
my wife struggled for years
to understand who was
this guy that came back.
Years later she used to say that,
you know Ross, you never took your
flak vest off when you came home from
your tour in 1992, and so my experiences
I have very little memories of my home life
throughout the 90's cause I was always on a tour.
Always on a course, always doing things and
back then the spouse was suppose to be
the pillar of the support that kept the home
life going, that kept the home fires going
while I went overseas and served my country.
And so it was almost an unspoken rule
you don't ask your husband what was it like.
You just don't go there.
You just know that they're gonna
come back different.
For the majority of Canadian soldiers you know,
you bleed that hyper-vigilance out of you.
You kind of reintegrate yourself back into
family life again, but you know,
for the families, don't ask, don't tell.
Now mind you in this day and age there's
a hell of a lot more of information
provided to families, support and even
soldiers that might be dealing with mental
health issues, the families are usually
the first ones to see it like my
wife did planning that picnic