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Local Natives

Heroes Remember

They made a house out of twigs and branches, weave them all through, put grass all through them and so on, just like a net, you know, then they would put the grasses all through it and so on. And the floors were mud floors and they normally had in some of the areas they would have maybe one or two stoves outside like a barbeque as we would call it, but a stove, and it was was made of brick and clay. And it was a common area like maybe four or five families would use the same stove. The poverty there was terrible. It still is today. It's terrible that we, in this part of the country don't realize what the poverty is over there. Here it is, what, thirty eight or forty years ago and they're still doing the same thing today. So I look at it, I look at it myself and say... What good did I do there? You know. What was the sense of even going there in the first place? You know. Because it's our commitment to do that, of course. You think about that after a while. I wasted my time there but did I? I don't know. I don't think I did, I hope not.

Mr Gratto recalls the living conditions of the local natives, and reflects on his time there.

James Gratto

James Gratto was born in 1934 in Halifax,Nova Scotia. His father worked on the Canadian National Railway and his mother passed away when he was young. One day during school he and some of his friends went down to the recruitment truck during lunch time to sign up. After getting the call he quit school and went to basic training for eight to ten weeks before serving in the Congo for seven months where he worked in 1962 with the Royal Canadian Signals Corp with UN Peacekeeping. Later on Mr. Gratto became a member of the Air Borne Signals Squadron. He had a military career of 32 years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Gratto
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Signals Corps

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