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A Connection Thirty Years Later

Heroes Remember

A Connection Thirty Years Later

When I was in Yugoslavia in 1995 our sector included the units from Canada, the Czech Republic and Kenya. And I was working at the headquarters with a staff of people from those different countries. And I was talking to a Czech officer who was a long in the tooth fellow who was doing, he was a reservist who was doing a call out for his gov’t, so he was, well I guess he wasn’t that much older than I was. But anyway we got chatting and talking about where were you during the Cold War and what did you do and, “Oh well, I was in the British Army of the Rhine and we had positions on the Vezere River…” and so on. He said, “Oh really!” And he said, “Well, I was a pilot in the Czech Air Force, a fighter/bomber pilot.” And then we got around to “Where?” and he said, “Well I used to, my deploying position was in the town of Holzminden where my platoon was guarding the bridge that went over the Vezere River.” And he looked a little surprised because the Holzminden Bridge was one of the targets, primary targets for his squadron who were tasked to attack it with tactical nuclear weapons. And so that was in 1962 to exactly the same time that I had been there. And then here we were, what 30 years later working together in the cause of peace for the same purpose.

Mr. Kelly tells of a recent chance encounter with a Czech Air Force pilot from back in the Cold War days.

Michael Kelly

Mr. Michael Kelly was born January 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario. Being active in the Cadet Program as a youngster, Mr. Kelly always held the idea that he would pursue a career in the military. Once of age, Mr. Kelly joined the Officer Candidate Plan School of Infantry at Camp Borden. Graduating as an officer, he accepted deployments overseas including Germany and Cyprus. Upon retirement from the army, Mr. Kelly held rank of major. After military service, he became quite involved in many organizations and worked with UNICEF and World Food Program in East Timor. Mr. Kelly has great pride in his membership with The Black Watch Regiment and is presently the president of the Upper Canada Branch of the Black Watch Association in Ottawa. He now resides in Ottawa with his wife Erica.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
August 2, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Michael Kelly
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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