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Meeting the Locals

Heroes Remember

What I had witnessed and if I can say. I met a bank manager. He was a refugee. I met a fire fighter who was the local fire fighter in the town and helped me with water supply. And I got to talk to these people and I said, “You know, what were you before this all happened?’ Well this chap and he introduced himself, “I was a bank manager, ” he said, “in Sarajevo, the city of Sarajevo before the invasion.” “And how did you end up here?” “Well, I was married to a Serb.” “Oh, so you’re a Muslim?” “Yes.” And he explained the system. “I don’t know where my wife is. They took her away from me because she was married to me and I fled Sarajevo and now I’m here.” But he was like everybody else, he woke up one morning, he had everything. He had a car. He had a business He had a beautiful wife and kids. He had a beautiful home. That was gone. He woke up one morning and it was gone. It was over for him. And all he said he had was a suitcase full of his own clothes. He didn’t even know at the time where his kids were. They were gone. And you know I sat back and talked to him. He cried a little and I did my best to comfort him and understand what he was going through. And I was thinking my goodness how can humans do this to each other. I’ve saw people living under culverts for shelter. I’ve saw people living in bombed out buildings, no roofs on at all no walls, just a floor. And maybe two or three stories up just sleeping under the stars for survival. As I told you this part of this interview, a town that held 5000 people became 60,000 and we were there right at the midst of that when these Muslims were coming in knowing that Srebrenica at the time was known as a safe haven and there was just, there was no

Mr. Wiseman tells of speaking with the locals and trying to understand their culture and means of survival.

Robert Wiseman

Mr. Robert Wiseman was born October 9, 1953 in Bathurst, New Brunswick. With his father being a Veteran, and his five other brothers joining up, Mr. Wiseman made this the reason for joining the service. In 1974, fresh out of high school, Mr. Wiseman travelled to CFB Cornwallis Recruitment Camp receiving 11 weeks of training then to CFB Gagetown for advanced training as a combat soldier. Mr. Wiseman joined the army experiencing one tour to Cyprus and later in his career travelled to Bosnia holding the rank of Warrant Officer. His service in Bosnia provided humanitarian support to the Bosnian people after the Srebrenica massacre where many people were killed. After discharging from the army, Mr. Wiseman returned to Fredericton.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Robert Wiseman
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Warrant Officer

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