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Evacuating the Injured

Heroes Remember

Evacuating the Injured

You know sometimes you had to take a hard line which we did, and where sometimes you had to take a hard line was evacuating the injured when we first got there. Families being transported out, we were trying to get them out through British helicopters, and we were doing rather well. But there were certain people that tried to get out prior, and when I say prior we were trying to get the old out first, the sick and the wounded but sometimes you would have to part families for that. So we ended up being, hey, a soldier’s a soldier so we had to do, hold our rifles up high, put a barbed wire between them and their loved ones and that would break your heart watching them hug each other saying good bye knowing will they ever see their loved one again and you saying hey am I responsible for this? But you had a job to do because if they landed where they were landing in Tusila and they were examined by Serbs, if they weren’t wounded, they were executed or shot I presume that’s what happened. And you know so we had to make sure and little did they know that we were actually doing for their, their own good really. We weren’t going to put a perfect good soul on the helicopter knowing that, you know, you’re going to be executed in forty minutes when you land. But these people were taken away, were they executed, I don’t know. See and that’s something else where we just farming them out to be executed, we don’t know. I do know the Ameri, or the British helicopters used to come in were stripped, radios the whole works were stripped. There were no means of communication because that’s the way the Serbs wanted it. So, you know, and I used to say what are they doing to us, setting us up for a fall or? But that was hard as a soldier; you had to take a hard line and I’ve saw where we had actually pull a girl off her mother. I mean, her mother was dying. She had ill, I don’t know she had internal cancer and it was spreading fast and they said that she had to get out and we had to pull her daughter off her and put her back in with the refugees and running back and forth and taking messages or little love letters from each other, taking and giving them, but they couldn’t go to touch them because, you know, and that was hard. That was hard so there’s where you really had to say okay, I gotta put on a straight face here and I can’t show my emotions, but it’s hard. The end of the day you would sit down and say I’m glad today’s over, now I have to look forward tomorrow, something else, you know what I mean?

Mr. Wiseman relates the harsh reality of being a soldier while evacuating the injured being separated from their family.

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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