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First Mission to Cyprus

Heroes Remember

First Mission to Cyprus

In the beginning of my career I was in infantry, 031 with the Royal 22e Regiment. It was basically, I was part of the recce platoon 3rd battalion and that was pretty much what it was for an infantry person - going target shooting, exercises, digging trenches, preparing for any eventual catastrophe or war or whatever. I was in Cyprus in 1985 and I was the service officer’s operation driver while I was down there. So any task that the operation officer had around Cyprus on the Greek side or on the Turkish side I would drive him around to the destination that he had to go to. It was my first mission out of the country. I had never been out of the country before and it was surprisingly not what I had expected to begin with because a lot of people had been going to Cyprus before and they said it was called “Club Med” or whatever and I was thinking I was going on a six month vacation which was not the case. And I found that out fairly quickly while I was down there because I used to drive the service officer and there was places where there was houses that were booby-trapped and he would point them out to me and, you know, that brings a chill to you because you never knew when these could explode. They had been there for years and years and they could detonate or whatever. It could have exploded while I was there, you know. So that got me scared. But another time I was at Point Charlie 100 and there was a building that used to belong to the Canadians which was Beaver Lodge. At Beaver Lodge there was a Turkish soldier there with a rifle. He had pointed his rifle at me and he cocked it showing that there was bullets coming out. This is when I realized we were not actually at “Club Med.” We were actually, my life was in danger at that moment and I wasn’t expecting that so I had to call it in being that our magazines were in our pocket. You couldn’t put it on your rifle without permission so I was pretty scared there. That changed my whole attitude of the rest of the tour.

As part of Recce Platoon 3rd Battalion, Mr. Villeneuve speaks about his first deployment to Cyprus and the risk and danger to his own life on this mission.

George Villeneuve

George Villeneuve was born February 4, 1964 in Ottawa, Ontario. At 17 years of age, he made the choice to join the military and became a part of the Infantry 031, Royal 22e Regiment as part of a Recce Platoon 3rd Battalion. In 1985 he travelled to Cyprus as a driver for the Operational Service Officer. Following this tour, Mr. Villeneuve accepted tours to Bosnia and Golan Heights holding occupation as driver. After years of service, Mr. Villeneuve was medically discharged from the army with PTSD. He has accepted assistance for his condition and has welcomed Vardo - a service dog and true companion into his home. Mr. Villeneuve is enjoying life again and resides with his family in Ottawa.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 21, 2013
Person Interviewed:
George Villeneuve
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal 22e Régiment

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