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A Smile that Left an Impact

Heroes Remember

A Smile that Left an Impact

Once we got settled at the PRT in Kandahar City, everybody was moved in there. The platoons were all moved in and we started doing patrols and the first real incident that transpired and I had no involvement in it but one of the convoys came back and they were hit. And I just remember them rolling back into the camp and, you know, the initial sight and the smell of those rounds and the burnt and the blood, it was a real gut check to say, you know, like wow this is really happening. I think more or less it really opened my eyes as to what it was that I put my name on the line for. The patrols started amping up. The operations started amping up and by the time I knew it we were out on an operation and the first true engagement that really like smashed my brain apart was the day that Captain Nichola Goddard was killed. I didn’t have very much engagement with Captain Goddard. I just remember in the staging grounds prior to going in on this operation Captain Goddard was the forward observer. She was there to call in artillery fire in case we required it. I remember Captain Goddard coming down the convoy before we mounted up and I just remember her smile. She left that impact on me as such a genuinely good person. Initiated a very small conversation and she kept on going. That day that we got hit, we were static on that ground where we got into that engagement for quite a long time and I just remember hearing over the radio, “Mount up!” and as soon as that transpired it was just RPG after RPG after RPG and Captain Goddard lost her life that day and it was really, it hit me really, really, really hard

Collin tells of an incident while on duty that has affected him greatly to this day.

Collin Fitzgerald

Mr. Collin Fitzgerald was born in Ottawa March 14, 1979. At the age of 8, Collin’s parents encouraged him to join the Cadet Program leading him towards becoming a reservist. At the age of 17 and with the inspiration of World War Two and Korea Veterans, Collin made the decision to transfer over to Regular Force joining the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He rose to the rank of Master Corporal after his 15 years of military service. In 2000 he attended battle school in Wainwright, Alberta, then posted to Winnipeg. In September of that same year he accepted a deployment to Bosnia. In 2006, Mr. Fitzgerald attached himself to 5 Platoon B Company and deployed to Afghanistan under the regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Experiencing intense combat during his time in Afghanistan, Mr. Fitzgerald was presented the Sacrifice Medal for his services and courageous acts of duty towards his fellow comrades. Upon discharge from the military, Mr. Fitzgerald suffered with PTSD and with the help of many supporters he was able to reintegrate into civilian life. He presently is highly involved in giving back to the military community and is a strong advocate for Highway of Heroes and many other service related initiatives. Mr. Fitzgerald now resides in Kingston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 27, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Collin Fitzgerald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

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