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Helping the Locals

Heroes Remember

When we actually started doing more interactions with locals was in ’96 where we started actually going out to communities. It was right after the Dayton Peace Accord in ’96 so a lot of the lines were already formed. So we would go in, once again as Pioneer Platoon and, you know, like clear some rubble. One village had, it was full of dead pigs. So we dug the holes with the dozers, buried them and, you know, cleaned up the villages and started helping with infrastructure. Working with locals from whatever country, it’s awesome. When you can see their gratitude and, you know, they’d offer us food. You feel rewarded.

While in Bosnia, Mr. Reist speaks about helping to rebuild the infrastructure for the local people.

Mike Reist

Mr. Mike Reist was born December 18, 1969 in Waterloo, Ontario. Having had a great uncle as a role model, Mike made the choice to join the Canadian Forces, only advising his family of these intentions two weeks prior to attending infantry training. Mike joined with 2 RCR, 2nd Battalion Infantry Division and held rank of warrant officer. Mike has a long record of service overseas - Cyprus 1991, Bosnia 1992,’96, ’99, Africa 2000, Afghanistan 2003, ’07 and Haiti in 2005. Mike had 27½ years of military service. Mike is very proud of his military career and is quoted as saying, “It’s the best thing that ever happened!” Upon medical release, Mike was stricken with PTSD and has become an advocate in speaking out about this condition. He is presently active with the Soldier On program and has competed in the Invictus Games in Toronto 2017 as part of Team Canada’s wheelchair rugby. Mike presently resides in Gagetown, New Brunswick with his wife and family.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
September 29, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Mike Reist
Royal Canadian Regiment
Warrant Officer

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