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On Guard at the Green Line

Heroes Remember

On Guard at the Green Line

Many times I’ve been on guard in the green line and it wasn’t a very safe place to be, like a lot of people thought the green line was a safe place and unfortunately those people when they were firing at us, they never stuck their head above the sandbag. They just put the weapon over the top of the sandbag and let it fire and whatever happened happened and that’s exactly the way they did combat with us, if you like. That can be a tough job because me personally, I’ve had kids walk up and spit in my face, you know, and that’s a hard thing to accept. I’ve seen young people running around with six guns strapped on their hips. Our rule of engagement was unless your life was in danger, you weren’t allowed to fire a shot. I do recall one time we were escorting some Turks and one fella fired right over the top of my head and I seen him fire over the top of my head and to be honest with you I wanted to do something to him but I was warned that I’d be court-martialled so I had to accept this and it was very hard to accept. There was old people, children and women that were being brutalized and I guess that was one of our jobs to try and stop this sort of thing and I might add that we weren’t there very long til this stuff had stopped, so I guess we did do a service there, but to see people brutalized for no reason, you know, it’s just… as a Canadian we’d just find that hard to understand, to fathom why this sort of thing would be done, however that is what went on.

Mr. Beyea describes situations that occur while on guard duty at the green line.

Robert Beyea

Mr. Robert Beyea was born in Saint John, New Brunswick December 14, 1942. After obtaining his education, he was very anxious to join the military. Initially his preference was to become a sailor, however, with no vacancies and little patience, Mr. Beyea decided to join the army. In 1961, he became part of the Royal Dragoons Regiment and obtained basic training in Camp Borden, Ontario. Mr. Beyea chose the trade of tank driver and gunner and continued on to become an instructor training new recruits. Holding rank of corporal, he travelled to Cyprus in 1964 and was part of the first contingent to travel there on behalf of the Canadian military. Mr. Beyea later retired from the army and speaks to youth about his feelings on the importance of service in the military. Mr. Beyea now resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 10, 2009
Person Interviewed:
Robert Beyea
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Dragoons
Tank Driver

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