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Actions During an Ambush – Part 2

Heroes Remember

Actions During an Ambush – Part 2

I can’t even imagine the concussion that Paul Kinotts received and Junior received from the impact of that explosion in the inside of that vehicle. I was on the outside and got knocked down so I mean those poor guys, you know, their heads are just like rattled being in there. Paul Kinotts jumped out the other side for good reason, still alive and lucky being encased in that. I opened up the passenger door and rounds were cooking off on the inside and going off like a popcorn machine and I didn’t want to get into the vehicle right? I had my rifle and I had put it up onto the seat and I just remember trying to stay as low as I could and I had to engage the brake to get the shifter to go into drive and I remember the passenger door opening up and one of the other master corporals, Alden yelled at me, he said, “Fitzy just hit the gas and I’ll grab the wheel!” So he reached across from the passenger side and pulled the wheel as I hit the gas on the driver’s side and as he did that the vehicle rolled into a tree which stopped the vehicle. Looking back on it now I am very lucky that that tree was there because if it wasn’t the vehicle would have ended up rolling on top of Alden and trapping him under the vehicle and that would, he would have been done. So from there, I yelled across to Chris, I said, “Chris, get anybody out from behind the vehicle.” And I jumped into the passenger vehicle or into the driver’s seat and I literally was trying to get as small as I could but with all of the gear on that we were wearing it was like I wasn’t getting any smaller than I could and everything happened so fast I just put the vehicle in reverse, backed it up a few feet and then put it into drive and as I was going forward just angling it over to the ditch and just kind of stepped out and the vehicle rolled over. I got out and I was like, okay and I realized that I didn’t have my weapon with me. And I was like, “Where’s my gun? Where’s my gun?” And I literally started panicking. And I can equate it like oh my god I forgot to get dressed and I’m at the 50 yard line at the Super Bowl right now, like I need clothes right now, right? But I’m in the middle of a fire fight and I need my weapon. And again Chris chimed in and he said, “Fitzy, there’s an extra one at the back vehicle!” So I went or sorry in my train of thought process I remember jumping on to the door of the vehicle that I just put into the ditch and trying to open up the door like the weight of those doors. I mean with the armament on them, they’re heavy. I mean extremely heavy. And I went to open it up and my platoon commander grabbed me by the back and ripped me off of there. He said, “Get off of there!” I said, “I need a gun sir, I need my weapon!” So Alden said, “Fitzy, there’s one at the back vehicle!” So I went tearing down there and opened up the door and it was almost like a movie scene how this happened. One of the guys was up at the back in the turret and I opened up the door and just on the top of his foot he had the rifle where the slip ring is on the rifle and he kind of kicked it up and I grabbed it. So it was kind of neat like, you know, that macho like yah! I felt so much better once I had that weapon back in my hands and I was able to carry on. But, you know, that was my mistake. That weapon should have been attached to my person and it never left me again after that. Just seeing the pictures and aftermath of that because they went back in the next day after that and just the pictures of that. And I don’t know how our interpreter or Paul made it out. I don’t know how any of us didn’t, why there wasn’t more casualties that day in all of that, that fog of war I guess you could say like I just don’t understand how a lot of us came out of there without losing more lives or limbs. We forced through and we ended up getting to where we were.

Collin provides a detailed account of what took place during an ambush where many comrades were wounded.

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

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