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Prepared? You Think You Are

Heroes Remember

Prepared? You Think You Are

But it was good training, it was really good, and we, like I said before, we had excellent people, just, just the best of all trades, they were there. And most of those were Second War Vets, so you know they knew what the score was, they knew a lot more than we ever would learn, but they were good. Interview: So you felt prepared to go to war, at this point? Oh you think you are, you think you are, until you hit the line. And you may have been scared once or twice before for who knows for what reason you know, but when they start shooting at you, that's when you get scared. And, like everybody else, I served my year there and I don't think there was a day that I wasn't scared, in fact I'm sure there wasn't. Interviewer: Can you tell me about that fear, that different sense of fear. I don't think you can describe it.

Mr. Reitsma recalls the excellent training he received, and explains how nothing short of actually participating in war can prepare you for it.

Stuart Reitsma

Mr. Stuart Reitsma was born into a military family in Lacombe, Alberta, in 1928. His father served in the Second World War , and two of his brothers also served in Korea. Before joining the service in 1950, Mr. Reitsma worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway (CNR). While participating in a CNR strike in Vancouver a fight broke out. Mr. Reitsma and a friend enlisted the next day, deciding if they were going to fight, they'd sooner do it in the Army. Soon after completing training, Mr. Reitsma was shipped overseas to Korea. During his year there Mr. Reitsma survived continued heavy action at the front line, a fact he attributes to the excellent training he had received. Returning to Canada after his tour ended, Mr. Reitsma received his discharge in August of 1952. He returned to work with CNR before accepting a position with Alberta Government Telephone which he held for 26 years before retirement.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Stuart Reitsma
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Machine Gunner

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