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Security for the Ukranian Soldiers

Heroes Remember

Security for the Ukranian Soldiers

Sarajevo, in the top of a hill, where a Ukranian contingent of soldiers was manning, it was an APC, which an APC is sort of an armoured personnel carrier that carries troops but it was configured to man a sort of a, not a satellite but sort of a radar that would detect where artillery was being fired and can pinpoint the location where the artillery was being fired; we were providing security for these soldiers and they were all young, young kids at the time and you get to talk with them and even though you don’t speak the language, you find a way to socialize with them and basically talk. The exchange, you know I give you a cap badge, you give me a shirt, we exchange this stuff as soldiers, you know, souvenirs. And we try some of their food and they tried some of ours. So we establish some kind of bond even if it’s just five days. The last day we were there and we were leaving, their security troops had arrived so they were taking our position; five minutes maybe, ten minutes, down the hill, it could have been less, I lost track of time but we heard a hell of artillery start pounding, it was pounding the position or I thought it was near the position where we were that we left and it was true, artillery fell upon the soldiers that we were socializing with at the time and half of them, I don’t know the exact number but a great deal of them got killed and my sergeant had the letters, the first batch of letters that these young boys were sending to their moms and dads in his pocket and we were supposed to, well he mailed the letters to their families but, of course, he knew the situation that they were dead and he was mailing happy letters to their families; these boys we’re talking about, how happy they were to be able to make a little bit of money in their first UN tour and by themselves a, this particular kid that I was talking to, he wanted to buy a car and he said he didn’t get many opportunities in the Ukraine to be able to have the money to buy a vehicle so that was his dream and after today I do think if he made it and if he realized his dream of buying his vehicle or what happened.

Mr. Bojalil shares his sadness about an experience after providing security to young soldiers of Ukraine.

Alfredo “Alphie” Bojalil

Mr. Alphie Bojalil was born in Mexico City, August 9, 1969. At the young age of 15, Mr. Bojalil had the keen desire to join the military as the discipline and adventure for travel intrigued his interest. In 1988-89, Mr. Bojalil went to Battle School in Petawawa, Ontario and joined the Royal Canadian Regiment. After his training, Mr. Bojalil was posted to Germany where he remained for 2 years. A big part of Mr. Bojalil’s military career involved his participation as a peacekeeper with 3 RCR, November Company where he and a contingent of soldiers travelled to the besiege city of Sarajevo in 1992 with their main task to reopen the airport and provide humanitarian aid and supply to the people of this city. For this, Mr. Bojalil gained recognition and was awarded the Commander-In-Chief Commendation for his participation in this effort. After discharge from the military, Mr. Bojalil became a strong advocate for his fellow soldiers involved in this mission and has tirelessly worked to bring them together for a reunion in 2009. Mr. Bojalil remains a strong voice for his service and holds great pride for his unit’s accomplishments. Mr. Bojalil married and has one daughter.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Alfredo “Alphie” Bojalil
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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