Psychological Strain

Transcript

Anchor: After months on the lines, fighting, patrolling, standing still, and waiting; after surviving battles, wounds and propaganda, the greatest of all survival challenges begins to threaten: extreme fatigue and psychological strain.

Stuart Reitsma: I don't think that I could honestly sit here and tell you that there wasn't a day that I wasn't afraid.

William Kane: When you're hiding like an animal, covering your head with your hands, you know you're defenseless.
(Tanks firing)

Jean-Émile Paillé: When you were being bombed, you'd just keep your head low and said Hail Marys. That's the honest to God truth. It was scary.

Clifford Landry: When it woke me up, it was like there were a thousand dogs barking. Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Bombs and mortars all the time.

Gerald R. Bowen: I don't know if you have fear or not, but you have - oh, how could you describe it - well, you know, is there no end to them? Are we going to do this forever?

William Kane: You do your act of contrition; in other words, you think you'll never get out alive. That's it. It's a gamble. You never know what'll happen.

Paul-Émile Pomerleau: That's what is so worrisome. You never know when it will strike, right? You throw yourself on the mercy of God. Some end up being taken as prisoners of war... those things happen.

Duke Connelly: He walked out, burning. He was a man that was I'd say six foot three, about 250 and by the time he was shriveled up he was very tiny. And there's nothing you could do because we had no water to even, had to run for blankets to put over him and then that was too late.

William Kane: That's hard! When somebody's in a really bad situation and you can't do anything.

Gerald R. Bowen: It was a bit of a demoralizing affair because I remember one of my Bren gunners, he'd been firing valiantly away and he could see people going down. And then in the morning when the sun came up there was one body hanging on the barbed wire and he said, "Geesh, you know, was I seeing things?" We had to explain to him, no, they just took them away.

Charles Trudeau: They had all kinds of tricks. One day, we woke up and all our mines, the ones in front of our positions, had all been dug up and moved...

William Kane: It's not like a cowboy movie, where people get shot and carry on, covering their wound with their hand. The impact is like getting hit with a sledgehammer. And then you fall.

Jean-Paul Savary: Sometimes you got so tight and wound on the inside, you wondered how you could still breathe... Damn, that's not funny. Not funny at all.

Yvan Paquin: It's really hard to see a buddy die. It may be the ultimate sacrifice, but you never get used to it.

Guy Édouard Gauthier: When a soldier is killed at war, he has to be identified. I had been sent to identify this guy, and it really got to me. Seeing him, laying there, not moving, with bullet holes and everything... I didn't like that, didn't like it at all.

Yvan Paquin: You don't get used to death. You understand it, you accept it, but to get used to it... no.


Did you know ...

North Korea is home to one third of the Korean peninsula’s total population.

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