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As a Woman

Heroes Remember - Gulf War

When I had joined there wasn’t really any females in the field positions yet. So in 1989 I asked to get posted to Petawawa to the service battalion so I was one of the first females that they stuck in the field platoons in Petawawa as a driver. And it was tough at first, the boys didn’t want us there because it’s the man’s world out there right? But it wasn’t very long before they were going, “Whoa, these ladies can really carry their own,” and we gained a lot of respect from them and our sister/brotherhood took off like wild fire. It was great, they loved having us there, we worked together very well. My first deployment was in the Gulf War and we went to Saudi Arabia. Now I just told you I was a driver. It’s against the law for women to drive in Saudi Arabia so our government had a little bit of a, I don’t know, a conflict when we first got there. They didn’t want us to drive and we ended up not being able to do our jobs for the first week we were there until the governments talked and decided that we weren’t women, we were soldiers so they finally allowed us to do our jobs and I drove a 50,000 litre water tanker over there. They called it the big silver bullet, I called it the big silver target. But we were there with 1 Canadian Field Hospital and we set up like a MASH unit, a mobile hospital out in the middle of the desert on the Kuwaiti/Iraqi border along with a POW camp and it was about seventeen hours after they called ceasefire we rolled into Kuwait City to go into the Canadian Ambassadors house to make sure that it was still standing and to help the Canadian Ambassadors aid that had spent the whole time there during the war. So we went there to his aid to bring him water and power and stuff like that. When we pulled into the city we were pretty much the first friendly people to come in there so we were bombarded.

Ms. Fuchs speaks about the idea of being a woman in the military and how over time she became easily accepted in the position of driver.

Bettina Fuchs

Ms. Bettina Fuchs was born February 24, 1963 in Nanaimo, British Columbia. With the desire to obtain a stable career, Ms. Fuchs made the choice to join the military and accept a trade as MSE (Mobile Support Equipment) Operations where she held an occupation as a driver. With her 25 years of military service, Ms. Fuchs accepted deployments to the Gulf War region, Cambodia and Bosnia. During these deployments, Ms. Fuchs continued to carry out her responsibilities and always went the extra mile to provide aid and kindness to the local population. After a deployment to Bosnia, Ms. Fuchs was recognized for her humanitarian actions and received a Commendation award for her success. Being medically discharged from the military and now retired, Ms. Fuchs finds herself representing Team Canada for the Invictus Games, participating in the sport of archery. She presently resides in Peachland, British Columbia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 30, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Bettina Fuchs
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Persian Gulf
Gulf War
MSE Operations

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