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A Different Reception in ‘08

Heroes Remember

A Different Reception in ‘08

And then when I got back over there I was like, “Yes I am home!” There was a sense of homecoming that I didn’t want to leave. You could have left me over there. I don’t know what I was looking for. Funny enough it was the Shilo guys came back over too so there was a lot of familiar faces over there. It was really good to be back in that environment again. As a medic, there is no more rewarding place to do your job than in that environment where you know at the drop of a hat the injuries that can happen to so many people in a millisecond. You perform at a high level when needed and there is no more sense of satisfaction of trying to help those guys just be good again. And I will walk with them forever and a day so just to get back over there and do that was so rewarding. The way I was received as a medic in different platoons in 2008 was, “You’re the one that was on ’06 right?” Instead of trying to prove my way, left foot, right foot, carrying all my weight. To try to fit in on the first tour as the girl, it took bullets going down range to finally get that, “Oh I was really glad to have you out there today, I am so glad you were there today!” “Well nothing happened, no one got hurt!” “No, just knowing you were there and you kept up and you ran that and you jumped that and you climbed that, you got this!” “I was like okay I will follow like I’m good!” But it took an almost an incident to finally get I think accepted in’ 06 and then in ’08 it was more like, “Hey you were the one in ’06 right?” I was like, “Oh yah that’s me!” They were like, “Doc, like tell me about it!” I was like, “I don’t know, you’re better trained than you are ever going to know and we will all get into something over here again but don’t…” And the young guys there, you know, they trained to fight. That’s what they do and they want to get in the fight. And I said, “Don’t go chasing it, it will come to you and I’ll tell you right now you are going to want it to stop the moment, like ten seconds is a long time so don’t go chasing it, it will come to you. You are better trained than you will ever know and you are always going to know what to do even when you think you don’t know what to do, just be you and I’ll be here too, somewhere out here, I’ll be there with yahs.” The reception was much different in ’08. Coming home from ‘’08 I transitioned quite seamlessly actually. Like I say I had the awareness of okay this is what it is going to feel like to not have your weapon anymore and I didn’t have problems driving. I found it very seamless actually to come home the second time.

Army Medic Larter speaks about the sense of excitement in retuning to Afghanistan and how she was received by fellow comrades because of her ’06 deployment

Vanessa Larter

Ms. Vanessa Larter was born April 17, 1982 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. After graduating from high school Vanessa studied at UPEI and later made the choice to join the military as a medical technician. Her basic training took her to Gagetown, N,B, Camp Borden, Ontario for her first medical course, BC for paramedic school and then finally to settle with his first job in Edmonton, Alberta. She joined with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry with occupation of army medic. Along with In-Canada service Vanessa had two deployments to Afghanistan, 2006 and 2008. With a sixteen year career Vanessa is still in the military and resides at Camp Borden as a physician assistant holding rank of sergeant. Vanessa has great pride for her military service. She now resides in Ontario with her three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 27, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Vanessa Larter
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Army medic

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