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Positive Impact of Military Service

Heroes Remember

Positive Impact of Military Service

They knew what the army was, and they knew it wasn’t a game, like we thought it was when we first went in the army. It was serious. It was like, you had a job to do. If you don’t do it right, you’re the one that’s going to answer. It made most of the fellas that I know, become a man. But I don’t think I would have been the way I was today, and different things. I belong to different things, I got forty years in almost forty five years in the Legion, you know, and different things like that. I don’t think if I had stayed here, and never went in the army, I don’t think I would be the same person. Oh, it had everything on my life, my ways of thinking, things that I thought I might not do, that I can do. I think it’s worth a try, if that's what you feel. But if that’s not what you feel then don’t do it. And don’t do it because someone else tells you, “Oh, you should go.” You don’t have to go. If you want to go, you go. But if you don’t want to, you don’t go. Like with me, I probably would go to Korea again. But I wouldn’t go to Iraq and Iran. None of those places. Because these people fought for hundreds of years and they ain’t gonna give it up that easy and I ain’t going there. And that’s like the guy that came to Canada here from the United States. He’s a hero and everything. He’s been over there twice already, and they tell him that he has to go there again. If I was in the United States, I’d run over here too, and I’d say good luck, too. You know, you took a bite at the bullet twice. No good pushing it.

Mr Niles describes the positive impact of military service on his life, and offers his perspective on military service in today’s conflicts.

Joseph Allan Niles

Mr. Joseph Allan Niles was born December 15, 1932, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the oldest of four children. His father enlisted for service during the First World War, but was released for medical reasons, and found work in the dockyards. Mr. Niles grew up in downtown Halifax, and at age fourteen, he left school to work as a labourer, working on many buildings in the Halifax area. Mr. Niles enlisted on May 4, 1951, at age 17, with the Canadian Armed Forces in Halifax. He became part of a Special Force with the Royal Canadian Regiment, serving in Korea. He commenced his basic training in Camp Petawawa, Ontario, and completed his advanced training in Camp Wainwright, Alberta. In March 1952, Mr. Niles left for Korea, first travelling by train to British Columbia, then to Seattle, Washington, where he boarded a troop ship to Japan and Korea. Mr. Niles took part in fighting patrols and saw action on the front lines in Korea. After his one year tour of duty was completed, he volunteered for an additional three year term in the army, and remained in Korea until the end of October, 1953. He was discharged from the Armed Forces in June, 1954, and settled in Montreal where he found a job with the railroad. His employment later took him to Truro, Nova Scotia. Mr. Niles died in the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital in Halifax, on April 30, 2007.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Joseph Allan Niles
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
Royal Canadian Regiment

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