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A Privilege to be Canadian

Heroes Remember

A Privilege to be Canadian

Interviewer: So understanding the tours that you were involved in Denis, it must be difficult to return home and adjust to normal life again? Well, I’d be a liar if I’d say no. Absolutely true, it is. Different degrees of adjusting, yes, how we adjust to it, well I guess it’s according to our own personal selves. Yes it is difficult to adjust especially when you are coming back and first of all we were taught to stay on a hard path, walk on either cement or paved roads or roads that, even like dirt roads, but the ground is solid and it’s been cleared, that you’re okay and coming back to Canada and readjusting to walk on the grass and all that, that’s one adjustment there. Another adjustment is is seeing a standard of life this country has. Like, for one example, I’m part of this condo board for the condos and our units are made this way like there’s a bunch of units here and here and there’s parking lots. I am going outside and at the time when I was smoking and I went outside for a smoke. These tenants because I am on the board came to me and they were complaining that why where you have your parking things here that ours were two inches thicker than that and I’m looking at this guy and I’m thinking in my head, that is your main issue, is the size of the brick on the parking areas when you have other people in the world that are starving and suffering and your complaint is this? Like don’t bother me with this, I got more important issues than that. So that’s one frustration here is… remember I said a while ago when I first joined was for financial and security reason, but this country from everything I have seen is worth the uniform that I wear and we don’t realize how privileged we are, this country. You can travel six thousand kilometres with freedom without going through checkpoints, without worrying about people that’s going to stop you and rape you or kill you which has happened in these places and tours. You have the freedom to speak out. And I guess what throws me is seeing how the population has no idea what goes on in the rest of the world. And that’s another fact from one of the back of the questions here, what have I learned, what have I seen is how we take things for granted. I remember talking to one of the translators. His name was Dodo, he was half Serbian, half Croatian ’94 or was it ’93 now I can’t remember, Croatia, he was a professor of physics and when this war broke out and because he was not pure Croat, he got ostracized by the local authorities, he lost his house, lost his position and all that. And just to show you in this country, it won’t happen because of who we are. So things like this we take for granted while many other people around the world do not have. That’s why I am proud to wear this uniform. A big evolution in twenty four years of service from joining for economic greed but after the experience, it is a privilege to be a Canadian citizen only if they knew how privileged we are to be born here. And that’s what these tours have taught me.

Mr. Allaire shares an emotional message on how fortunate we are as Canadians to live in this country after seeing what goes on in some other parts of the world.

Denis Allaire

Mr. Denis Allaire was born December 25, 1962 in Timmons, Ontario. As a young man, Mr. Allaire recalls his decision to join the military as a selfish opportunity for financial and security reasons and enlisted on a bet. He trained as a medic receiving trades training in Cornwallis, Ontario, OJT in Trenton, Ontario and then six month training at Borden, Ontario Medical School. Joining the 5 Field Ambulance Division as an army medic, Mr. Allaire deployed overseas, his first deployment being in 1993 to Croatia, then Rwanda followed by two tours to Bosnia. After 24 years of military service, he discharged from the military. Mr. Allaire retires having a great sense of pride for his contribution and is thankful that he made that decision in life to join the Canadian Forces.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
March 9, 2010
Person Interviewed:
Denis Allaire
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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