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Return Home Takes a Bad Turn

Heroes Remember

Return Home Takes a Bad Turn

After coming back to Canada like I stated I was posted out of the battalion to Trenton and life really took a sidewinder for me. Started having a relationship with alcohol, a very up close and personal relationship with alcohol and it wasn’t doing me any justice. I was trying to suppress all these memories. The people that were surrounded in my life I was pushing everybody away. Everything I was doing was opposite of what I needed to be doing but in my mind I was so angry and so frustrated over everything that transpired over there because it was like I didn’t get to finish my job and I can give you every excuse in the book about how horrible what I did over there and why this guy got hurt and it was my fault and I was taking everything on. And these are all the rewiring that transpired that was happening inside of me and I didn’t want to think about any of this stuff. So I kept ending up getting late for work. I started showing up late for work which is something that never happened. You know, I spent prior to, well in December of 2006 I landed in Trenton. I was never late for work. I never missed a timing, never anything I was always on the ball with everything but everything started, it just started. I didn’t care about anything and I wanted everybody away from me. I didn’t want to have a relationship with anybody. I didn’t want anybody around me but at the same time I was trying to maintain this really messed up crazed thought that well, if I’m good here then I’ll be fine over here and my mind, I just started lying to myself and convincing myself that everything was going to be fine and it wasn’t. Things really started going downhill and when the alcohol wasn’t working anymore I found cocaine. I started having a huge relationship with cocaine and I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody, if there’s anybody out there listening to that today, don’t get into it. There’s other ways to go, there’s other avenues. You don’t have to go down that road. The paths that I took were the wrong ones. All you have to do is reach out and want that change. You need to want to get out of it. I needed to want to get out of it. But I didn’t at the time and I don’t encourage anyone going down the path that I went down.

Collin openly shares his experiences after deployment in ’06 where his life became dark from what transpired in combat.

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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