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Fred Gallant

Fred Gallant served in the Canadian Armed Forces for decades, including tours in Cyprus and the Persian Gulf.

Mont-Carmel, Prince Edward Island

Gulf War Cyprus

Born into an Acadian family in Mont-Carmel, Prince Edward Island, Mr. Gallant joined the Army and rose to the rank of Captain. He served two tours in Cyprus as Battery Captain as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) during the 1970s and 1980s. His methods helped many soldiers and his interventions most likely saved many lives, including many Greeks and Turks. Years later as a major, he became a UN Military Observer as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), maintaining the peace between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. He worked in all three middle eastern countries and has some eye opening stories to tell.

Heroes Remember interview

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A devastating event on duty - HTML5 Transcript/Captions

Well, there was firing every night on the line.

And I mean a lot of it was, you know, reactive.

The Turks were probably more disciplined

than the Greek. The Greeks were basically,

the officers it seemed left the line at night and

everything was in charge of a corporal or a

sergeant and one incident that happened was

my driver and I were on the line and

machine gun fire opened and you

could see the tracers going

from the Greek side to the Turkish side.

So we're approaching and you see the tracers.

So I start, I told him, “honk the horn,

honk the horn,” and we're lit up.

It's the UN flag is lit up and so on.

So he's honking and as we're approaching

the intersect line the firing stopped.

We drove through and I went to the Turkish

check point and I told them,

“just keep thing in check, I'll get back to you.”

Drove over to the Greek side and I asked,

“What's going on?” and they said,

“Well, one of the soldiers, his last night on the

line and he's intoxicated and he's going to kill

all the Turks before he leaves.

That's his last night and he's out of the

service after tonight.” And I said,

“Well, what are you going to stop him?”

“Oh, nothing.” I said, “Well you better

or else you'll all be dead by morning!”

So one of them took a rifle butt and

clamped him on the side of the head and

knocked him out and that's how they

stopped him from firing. That is one little

story that you know, you wouldn't think

something irrational like that would go

on but it did. And there were stories every

night of something going on in the line.

And our young soldiers were phenomenal in

quelling, quieting, and coercing the individuals

to stop because sometimes there were

only fifteen feet apart. And they'd be throwing

rocks at each other and yelling and all this.

It was quite, '75 was quite active.

Where they served

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