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A Better Deployment 2012

Heroes Remember

A Better Deployment 2012

I went back in 2012 as mentoring and it was night and day. People were out on the streets. The shops were open. I was lucky enough to have an interpreter and my counterpart was the camp sergeant major in one of the camps in Kabul and I actually got to know them and share stuff with them every day. For nine months, I saw them almost every day except for Friday. We got really close. You go have tea with them or you go to meals with them. You know you share stories about your family. The biggest thing with Afghanistan is once, you get a handshake that’s perfect but when you start getting the hugs. When you get hugged you know you’re in. My interpreter cried when I left and my counterpart cried when I left. And it gave me a different view of Afghanistan. Gone from the days of ’07 where you didn’t trust anybody to this is a country that wants to help itself.

Mr. Reist compares his first and last deployment to Afghanistan and sees the improvements for the local population.

Mike Reist

Mr. Mike Reist was born December 18, 1969 in Waterloo, Ontario. Having had a great uncle as a role model, Mike made the choice to join the Canadian Forces, only advising his family of these intentions two weeks prior to attending infantry training. Mike joined with 2 RCR, 2nd Battalion Infantry Division and held rank of warrant officer. Mike has a long record of service overseas - Cyprus 1991, Bosnia 1992,’96, ’99, Africa 2000, Afghanistan 2003, ’07 and Haiti in 2005. Mike had 27½ years of military service. Mike is very proud of his military career and is quoted as saying, “It’s the best thing that ever happened!” Upon medical release, Mike was stricken with PTSD and has become an advocate in speaking out about this condition. He is presently active with the Soldier On program and has competed in the Invictus Games in Toronto 2017 as part of Team Canada’s wheelchair rugby. Mike presently resides in Gagetown, New Brunswick with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Mike Reist
Royal Canadian Regiment
Warrant Officer

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