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First Mission Overseas

Heroes Remember

First Mission Overseas

We get overseas. Finally it all happens. Six months of work up training, going to Arizona. We get overseas and it is exactly as awesome as I thought it would be. Our very first mission, day, like day two, week one, we had to insert and drop 300 American soldiers into Zangabad and they pushed from Zangabad all the way through to the Taleqan, Tip of the Horn. And we had all the Chinooks and all of the Griffins ready and the padres were blessing the aircrafts and this was our first legitimate mission after the turnover. I’ve gone on the flights but as a secondary role looking at the AO and learning the AO. And then we go off and it’s just this incredible symphony of Chinooks landing, American troops coming out of Canadian Chinooks all around the fence, entire platoons. It was six hours, three hundred troops took over the whole Tip of the Horn. It was a beautiful operation and then for the next two weeks continuous overwatch, eight hour patterns with Chinook escorts and troops in contact. It then grew to frustration because every time the Taliban would engage the troops on the ground in Taleqan, Spuringhar, Masinghar (sp), we would get called and we would leave our escort of a Chinook and come ripping to that area to assist the troops but because of the sound Taliban would shoot and scoot and run away so that build up for me was immense and that caused, started to cause me badness because I was getting the adrenalin and getting very excited to protect the troops on the ground but then I felt I let them down every time they heard us because we would contour flight too. We would try our best to pop up on the enemy with surprise and aggression but as soon as they heard they would be gone. The troops would not be in contact, as soon as you lose PID (Positive Identification), law of armed conflict, Geneva Convention, which is all good protects us but the frustration for me grew on that and that was maddening. And then I did have the opportunity to complete my job for real. It was team effort. We had predators asking permission for us to shake down 2-3, to prosecute a target. We asked permission from Zero, Zero gave us the go ahead. We were very excited. We had the MX-15 on the side. We zoomed in eight kilometres out, had PID on the individual and then performed our mission. It was a great success. And then that was really intense because we were the first shakedown crew to engage that tour with arms. Everybody else was tech support and been there to actively help but we were the first to like now put rounds down range. And when we came back it was hard because everybody just, it was another day at work but I didn’t quite know how to process it. So I immediately felt like I got to be hard and keep it in but then I went that evening and ran on the treadmill for an hour and then I felt guilt because I had now, I felt sadness and confusion and then because I felt sadness and confusion I felt like I was letting my mentors down because they were there during Medusa and different tours and deployments which Medusa went down in heat stroke, they fought for sixteen hours straight, patrols for sixteen kilometres intense and then here’s me. I am a door gunner so it’s cushie, I know it’s Gucci but I feel bad. And that weighed on me so then I made myself harder and then I think that’s where the poison set in for myself and my moral PTSD to be honest with you.

Taking part in the mission, Arthur describes the experience of going into action and witnessing the sights of troops on the ground.

Arthur Larimee

Mr. Arthur Larimee was born January 23, 1986 in Edmonton, Alberta. Growing up in Alberta and being involved in sports, Arthur always understood the importance of camaraderie and with this, was drawn to the idea of joining the military. With the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Arthur trained as door gunner. He was a weapons technician and deployed twice to Afghanistan. After his second deployment Arthur left the military and together with his spouse Brittany, a fellow PPCLI, fulfilled his aspirations of opening a gym with the desire to have a place for countless service men and women to come together for support both mentally and physically, maintaining that bond of friendship experienced during service time. He and his wife have opened a clothing line and are proud entrepreneurs of the Iron King Gym Ltd in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
October 26, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Arthur Larimee
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Door Gunner

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