Language selection


Actions During an Ambush

Heroes Remember

Actions During an Ambush

As the tour progressed there was just non, it just felt like it was a daily engagement with opposing forces. We ended up moving from the, my platoon in B Company, 5 Platoon and it was Chris Klodt’s platoon, 6 Platoon, we were moved from the PRT down to forward operating base, Wilson, named after Tim Wilson who was killed in a rollover with a LAV, him and another very close friend of mine, Paul. We moved down to 5 Wilson and from there, either we were in camp taking on mortars from about a kilometre south of our camp from the tree line or we were out on operations and it was like a daily thing almost that we were in some sort of bullet launching contest with the opposing forces. There was one operation that we were on, we had been through multiple, multiple, multiple engagements with opposing forces that day and our interpreter, Junior, on this particular setting the vehicle that he was in, we had to get the interpreters under protection if we came under fire because they were not allowed to carry anything, any weapons to protect themselves. So to put them in a vehicle as protection while these engagements were going on was something that was a standard operating procedure for the most part. We came under fire once again after multiple contacts that day and it was somebody from the opposing forces had managed to get a recoilless rifle set up in place and the vehicle where Junior was sitting in I had been standing by the back door where he was sitting and I moved to the front of the vehicle just as the explosion went off and I was knocked down to the ground for a very short period of time. We’re talking like seconds, less than like literally seconds and when I came to I opened my eyes and there was nothing but dust and smoke and it was billowing and clouds coming from the inside of the vehicle and the inside of the vehicle was all encased in smoke. Paul Kinotts was the driver of that vehicle and when I got up I didn’t realize what had transpired but later on found out that it was the recoilless rifle that had gone and punctured through the armour on the vehicle and it exploded on the inside. Those vehicles were loaded with ammunition and it started cooking off on the inside. Master Corporal Lazette LeBlanc when I got up and came around back of the vehicle I was trying to figure out what was happening because some people were down on the ground, some were up and there was a lot of chaos going on, right? Lazette LeBlanc was down in the ditch on the other side of the road with Junior putting the tourniquets on his legs and I asked her if she was good to go and I just remember Junior looking at me and saying, “Fitz, they took my legs, they took my legs Fitz, they took my legs!” And as soon as Lazette said yes I’m good to go like she was in the middle of putting the tourniquets on and I ran over to my platoon, Scottie Young and I said, “Scottie I got to get that vehicle off the road!” He says, “Yah go ahead and do it, it’s like right in the middle of the pack, like common sense bud, let’s go, lets’ go, let’s go right!”

Collin shares his up, close and personal involvement during an ambush where quick decisions had to be made.

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)

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: