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The Haitians Way of Life

Heroes Remember

The Haitians Way of Life

We land at the airport and the airport is surrounded by sea containers that the Pakistani Army and the Canadians have erected in order to keep the Haitians out, to keep a secure area. So this is our camp as well. Organized, typical camp, you know, military life in operation, no problem. And then we get into our vehicles, and they're all UN marked vehicles. We have all our uniforms with us and so on, and off we go into the outside and our destination is the main police station, repair station in the heart of Port au Prince. And well to get there it's about half a day. I mean it's just because people don't observe any laws of the road, because there's no laws. So a two-way street where there's two lanes normally, you'll see about six rows of cars trying to go back and forth and cutting each other off and it's just, that's just. And you got people on the sidewalks trying to make their way on the sidewalks jumping out of the way because the cars are getting there as well, and that's just a little bit of it. And the getting there after all, you know we drove down the main street and I was so surprised to see the Canadian Embassy and it just looks like a normal, ordinary every day building, no compound, no nothing. We never went in, we just drove by, but it was just surprising to see that. That's all it is? Just a building with a Canadian flag on it. Anyways, we finally get down to the police station and that in itself is a total mess as well because people are, they're repairing things, but there's no money. They're working for the country repairing the National Police vehicles, but tthere's no money. They need parts. So like the Haitian we're working with says he needs to get an authorization letter from his bosses to go purchase whatever they need to purchase and it takes days, weeks and months. So really everything is working at a snail's pace to get things working forward, but they're still using their vehicles and breaking them more and more. So it's just piling up and piling up.

Mr. Vaillancourt describes the backwards way of living of the Haitian people.

Marc Vaillancourt

Mr. Vaillancourt was born April 22, 1957 in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. After high school, Mr. Vaillancourt was interested in receiving a trade and with the desire to live the adventure of the military, age 19, he decided to join. At this time, Mr. Vaillancourt trained as a vehicle technician and joined with the Elelctricial Mechanical Engineer branch. Mr. Vaillacourt held rank as Master Warrant Officer. In 1990 Mr. Vaillacourt’s postings began as part of the 12th Armoured Regiment with a tour to Cyprus and in 1997 was part of a unit that travelled to Haiti; a specialized tour organized in Ottawa with only 5 soldiers in command. Mr. Vaillancourt was discharged from the military and now resides in Barrie, Ontario with his family.

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

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