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Civilians being Targeted

Heroes Remember

Civilians being Targeted

Being an infantry soldier for the training that we had done, you know you always think that when you enter the battlefield it’s against your enemy and the battle is there. Even from, you know the days of World War Two, refugees would be going one way and the soldiers would be going another. But in Sarajevo it was surreal that civilians were being targeted, not combatants but civilians. And I’ll never forget being on a checkpoint duty in the middle of town and it was really hard to figure out where the front lines were and but you look down the road, you look down the alley way and there’d be sea containers piled up. Sometimes three, four high and we eventually figured out it was to block the snipers from being able to shoot down the road. But I was at a busy checkpoint and with my vehicle and my section and there was a BBC car that pulled up just to hang out with us for the day in case something happened and it was a busy intersection. Cars going left, right and centre. No fighting. Nothing like that going on and then I remember watching a couple and an elderly lady walking down the sidewalk towards us and a young couple in their twenties with, maybe grandma, maybe their mom and they were chatting along and then they got to a point where they had to cross the street. And there was a sign in Serb.-Croat , “Beware of Snipers.” And as soon as they got to that point, they ran and the couple left the mom behind. They ran across the intersection and then she kind of went as fast as she could while the younger couple were way ahead of her and then when they got to the other side, past this danger zone where they could be shot at, they waited for her. And she finally got across the street and they kind of just put their arm around her and they continued walking as if nothing happened. And I’ve always thought about that moment and like, you know what, it’s every person for themself.

During checkpoint duty at the PTT building, Mr. MacDonald describes the sights of civilians being targeted by snipers while walking down the sidewalks and the challenges they faced each day.

Ross MacDonald

Mr. Ross MacDonald was born April 4, 1967 in Peterborough, Ontario. His parents immigrated from the United Kingdom to Canada in 1960. After graduating from high school, Ross tried the college life, but because of his interest in the outdoors and strong involvement in sports he decided to join the army. At age 20, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in Petawawa, Ontario joining 3 Royal Canadian Regiment. As part of his training, Mr. MacDonald travelled and lived in Germany for two years. In 1992, Mr. MacDonald joined 3 RCR November Company Group on a tour to Sarajevo to provide humanitarian aid and supplies to the besieged city. Because of his service, Mr. MacDonald was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Commendation. Due to medical release, Mr. MacDonald left the military, but continued to work with the soldiers needing support under the OSSIS program, a government position he holds today.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ross MacDonald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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