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A Time for Giving Back

Heroes Remember

A Time for Giving Back

I am at a point now in my life where I am giving back. I am taking all of my experiences and I share them on stage with whoever is willing to listen. I share them on my Facebook feed. I am giving back on levels that I never thought were even possible anymore. I am now reintegrated with my daughter who I have, through all of this turmoil, to have my daughter taken away from me was just another punch for me wanting to be done with walking on this earth. But through the work and being guided and the people that have come across my path in my worst and have stuck by me and helped guide me. I was given the tools to utilize, it’s that I needed to want to use those tools. It wasn’t there for people to continuously be like, “This is what you got to do Collin, this is what you got to do Collin, well let me do that for you Collin, let me do that for you.” It wasn’t going to work with people constantly, “Collin, here’s the information. You take what you need and you go with that. If you don’t want that then I can’t do anything for you.” These are the words, like I needed somebody in my life to come in and say like this is it, like it’s done. I will show you but I am not going to do the work for you. You need to do the work. And it was kind of like an eye opener, it was like. So I started engaging and talking about my daughter with people who were in my life and it was like, do you want your daughter back in your life? And I’m like, yes I miss her, I’m just like I need that like. Everything else has been torn away from me. All of my finances, all of my clothes, my everything. But all the materialistic things in the world do not equate to having your own little spawn ripped away from you. I needed that back. So in order for me to get that back I had to start putting in the work and I started putting in the work. Myself and my adoptive sister, Kerri Tadeu, she helped me set up a Devotion to Duty ceremony in St. Ann’s at the Veteran’s hospital. My daughter’s school, her classmates, her principle, the parents, teachers all came down. General Natynczyk and many other entities were there to celebrate the indigenous Veterans that served in the Canadian Forces along with the World War Two Veterans, along with the Korea Veterans. We took a bunch of Veterans and had a commemorative walk, a 1.58 kilometres. We incorporated a 1.58 kilometre for the 158 who died in Afghanistan with young people, old people pushing these Veterans in their wheelchairs and towards the end with much hesitation over the last few years, Kerri somehow managed in her ways to get the sacrifice medal presented to me by Genera lNatynczyk. I didn’t want it but when Kerri looked at me and said, “Your daughter needs to see this!” It was just one more thing that I needed to do in order to help set, reset the wiring that was twisted. Not only in my brain but in hers about everything that transpired. So what we did is we bought one of the miniature sacrifice medals and Mr. Natynczyk presented my daughter with the sacrifice medal because when it’s not just the service member that serves, it’s the family also and I have a picture now that I am going to get blown up and just the joy on my daughter’s face and seeing that picture because I was standing off to the left, I didn’t exactly when it was all being done. But I was sent the picture and it literally brings joy to my life.

Collin shares the story of his abilities to give back under circumstances he never thought possible and about his willingness to use the tools given to secure a better life.

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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