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The Reality of Being a Target

Heroes Remember

The Reality of Being a Target

I really didn''t worry about myself because we sort of travelled in the background and I think of the time you were a target if you were a military convoy. So as we had been there for a series of months and the Canadian Army started arriving en masse, it became obvious that we were becoming a target. But militants at that point were sort of happy to attack military convoys and they had just started; we had become a target halfway through my tour when the 3rd battalion of the RCR were attacked in Camp Julian. One of their patrols had run over a landmine that was deliberately set, an IED, and a couple of their guys had been killed and one or two others had been seriously wounded. People that I knew when I was in the infantry or that I definitely knew of when I was in the infantry and strangely enough people that I worked with a decade later, one of them had been part of the explosion. So at that point we realized we weren't there peacekeeping. This is not peacekeeping and even though we had moved from Kandahar to Kabul, you know, we were a target. It started off small but it became very clear that the days of blue helmets and peacekeeping were over and that we were being targeted by militants who would do whatever they could to get information on our movements including that of our senior military staff, General Leslie, our politicians and our soldiers. So it was something that ran through your mind quite often.

While on duty, Mr. Palmer speaks about the awareness of becoming a target and realizes that harm could be done at any time during patrol.

Phil Palmer

Mr. Phil Palmer was born October 16, 1969 in Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Palmer’s desire for the military started at a very young age as he always knew someday he would join. After graduating from high school, Mr. Palmer immediately enlisted in the military. Mr. Palmer joined the infantry with the Royal Canadian Regiment, was a member of the Airborne Regiment as a Paratrooper 3 Commando and later transferred to the Intelligence Operations as an Intelligence Operator. Over the course of 26 years, Mr. Palmer deployed to areas of Somalia, Bosnia and two deployments to Afghanistan. Mr. Palmer discharged from the military and now resides in Ottawa with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
December 9, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Phil Palmer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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