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Engaging with other Veterans

Heroes Remember

Engaging with other Veterans

It’s just being able to have that relationship with the men and the women that were there on the ground with me. I like reliving those happy moments and the way that I learn that over my time back here in Canada was actually engaging with World War Two and Korea Air Veterans. I met a fellow, he’s 102 years old and these guys are just sharp as a whip, eh? The one I looked at him and I said, “How did you make it, how did you make it, how did you make it to here?” And he just simply told me, he says, “It’s all in your attitude, keep a smile on your face and keep a positive look on things,” and he says, “everything will take care of itself.” One hundred and two years old, the man gave us the freedoms that we live and breathe every day. Myself as a Veteran seeing myself praising these guys, guys like my grandfathers that were there on the ground over fighting the Nazis. We need to praise these guys, we need to recognize them because if not for them we wouldn’t have the freedoms that we have. I do all of this and engage these men because there’s not many left here and I feel as a Veteran myself I can still serve Canada by serving these guys and saying to them “Thank you” for giving me what I have. My daughter, the education that she’s been able to receive since my reintegration back into her life. The huge support from Longue Sault Public School in Ontario. The principal, Mr. Kieran Kennedy, and the education that he injects into his students through initiatives that myself and my sister have gotten together. With their support we have taken cards from those students and gone and visited with these World War Two, Korea Air Veterans and handed these cards to them and stated to them, “Laura from Longue Sault Public School in Grade 3 wanted to let you know that she’s very thankful for the freedoms that she has and that she’s now standing on guard for you for you standing on guard for us, sir.” And the emotions that come out and it’s like, that’s it. I can still serve this country, I can still serve Canada outside of what I signed the line for by giving back, by saying thank you to these guys that literally gave us what we have today.

Collin expresses the respect he feels for the Veterans who served before him.

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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