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Heroes Remember

Nothing is worse than seeing your buddy lay there with a hole in his head or, you know, blown to pieces. That’s pretty tough to take. But about all you can say is well I guess it’s you not me. I know that sounds kinds of coarse but… Like I said before unless you have been there it’s absolutely impossible to believe it. You just can’t because that’s the only way you would ever know and for that I will forever be. You know I saw it and got out in one piece so for that I will forever be thankful but you got to ask yourself how did you ever get out of that place?

Mr. Reitsma talks about coping with the stresses of war.

Stuart Reitsma

Mr. Stuart Reitsma was born into a military family in Lacombe, Alberta, in 1928. His father served in the Second World War , and two of his brothers also served in Korea. Before joining the service in 1950, Mr. Reitsma worked with the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway (CNR). While participating in a CNR strike in Vancouver a fight broke out. Mr. Reitsma and a friend enlisted the next day, deciding if they were going to fight, they'd sooner do it in the Army. Soon after completing training, Mr. Reitsma was shipped overseas to Korea. During his year there Mr. Reitsma survived continued heavy action at the front line, a fact he attributes to the excellent training he had received. Returning to Canada after his tour ended, Mr. Reitsma received his discharge in August of 1952. He returned to work with CNR before accepting a position with Alberta Government Telephone which he held for 26 years before retirement.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Stuart Reitsma
War, Conflict or Mission:
Korean War
2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Machine Gunner

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