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Thriving in that Environment

Heroes Remember

Thriving in that Environment

Interviewer: When you first joined and you just couldn’t wait to get that uniform on and you just couldn’t wait to be that person that you felt were your heroes, at any time did you think, wow what you had gotten yourself into, there was so much chaos? I’ve had so much time to sit down and think about it and, you know, I consider myself very hard on myself. I am very critical of myself. The one thing that I know that I was good at was my job in that environment. I’m not by any stretch of the imagination going to sit here and say that I am any type of super soldier but I truly thrived in that environment. I wanted to make sure that the guys that I was working with closely above and below me, beside me, around me, I wanted to make sure that we all did our jobs properly and that we all came home. I can say for myself that I did my job and I did it to the best of my abilities today whereas four, three years ago, you know, I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to live anymore. I liked the environment that we were in. I thrived in it and you know when we came back from that tour I was posted out from the battalion and I think that separation from the relationships that we had with the men and women that were involved in those environments… just the loss of not being in that circle of people that I was with in that environment overseas, being sent away from all of that, that in itself was probably the most, the worst thing that could have happened in that time frame when we came back.

Collin shares his personal experience of feeling alive in the military environment.

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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