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Surround Yourself with Goodness

Heroes Remember

Surround Yourself with Goodness

If anybody is ever in that position, understand that any firefight that you were in, any witness or engagements that you were involved in, it had to end sometime. Reach out, utilize the tools that are out there because they are there. Make a phone call. Go and get out of your basement. Start enjoying the vitamin D that the sun gives you every day. Don’t hide because hiding didn’t get me anywhere. If it’s working for you great but chances are it’s not because sitting and stewing in your own filth and that’s what I was stewing in, it was my own filth. Kerri told me one day, she said, “You know, if you’re sick to your stomach and you start puking, why would you want to reach down and pick that puke up and put it back in. You need to get this stuff out because it’s like a cancer in the system, just get it out.” Sitting there and like encasing it and trying to hold onto it, didn’t work, it didn’t work. I am living proof of it. Start putting good stuff in. Start surrounding yourself with people who actually care. They don’t want anything from you, they are there just to help and they want to be around you. If I continued going down the path and the people that I was hanging out with, with the drugs and the alcohol and everything else it wasn’t working for me. It just wasn’t working for me. I had to get away from it. I would love nothing more than to be able to sit down to this day with Chris or Vanessa or any of the other guys and have a drink. I can’t, I can’t do it. I can’t do it because it’s going to take me down a road that is no good for me. That is something that I use to cope. I can’t go down that road. And I’m forward with people now about it, I have to be because it’s my life that depends on it and as soon as I go down that road, I lose everything that I worked for to be with that little girl that I need in my life. In the initial phases it was like, well how am I going to tell the guys that I can’t have a beer with them now, you know. How am I going to be able to go out and stay up all night and not do a little, do some cocaine? I just can’t go down that road. It’s not healthy for me and a the end of the day I’ve got a little girl there that brings me more joy than any outside entity can bring to me. I am surrounded by my comrades again. I’m engaged in their lives. What more could I ask for? I don’t need the best vehicle, I don’t need the best house, I don’t need the best clothes. I don’t need any of that. Those are not, those are all wants in my life. The needs that I have are the people that are bringing good into my life and I can bring good into their lives. And it’s just I want to give back, I just want to share and I want to tell the men and the women that are out there like I said there’s always another second, there’s always another minute… just get through it because the fire fight you were in overseas ended and you got through that. The firefights that you’re creating, sorry that I created in my mind I had to get through them and I did. Very, very luckily at certain points in my life but I’m still here.

Reflecting back on paths chosen, Collin expresses the need to make good choices in life and use the tools provided, living proof it does work!

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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