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Fit to Fight

Heroes Remember

Our mandate in ’96 was under NATO and we were kind of I don’t want to say a housecleaning crew but we were there to fight if we needed to. We were the United Nations mandate had halted and we were the first, the first company of infantry soldiers that were into the country. So, you know, if we had to fight we would have fought but generally we were monitoring the zones and making sure everybody was acting accordingly and politely I guess, so to speak. Interviewer: Were you considered a peacekeeper at that time? Well, no not really. You can imagine, I’ve always said you know imagine if one of our provinces in our country actually departed the country or voted themselves out and, you know, we're foreigners in somebody else’s country. And that’s the way it always will be because I mean there’s thousands of years of hatred in these countries and somebody coming from abroad trying to rule, it doesn’t go over very well. Ya, we were there to help. You know, we would pass out candies to the kids but you know there are so many different fighting factions that you don’t know who’s who and they don’t care who you are. Were we well supported? Ya, we were but you know at the end of the day if push came to shove they’d push rather than accept. I was fit to fight and ready to fight, wouldn’t even think twice. There was one thing I know there was a lot of people that were hesitant but for me being a little bit more mature I guess and older I knew what I was there to do right and if it came down to it I wouldn’t even think twice.

Under NATO, infantry soldier Thier speaks of his roles and responsibilities.

Michael Thier

Mr. Michael Their was born in Vancouver, B.C. August 30, 1970. Looking at options for a career choice, at age 24 Mike considering himself a late bloomer chose to join the military. Only four days after joining up and being trained an as infantry soldier, Mike was given an opportunity to deploy to Bosnia with IFOR ’96, SFOR ’99 and then to Ethiopia as part of UNMEE in 2001. After a horrific accident turret explosion to the armoured vehicle, Mike received serious facial wounds and after more than twenty surgeries he was given no choice but to be medically released from the military. Suffering with PTSD, Mike continues to struggle yet carries on with a sense of purpose in life and holds great pride in wearing the maple leaf. Mike has been named part of Team Canada for Invictus Games 2018 taking part in the sport of weight lifting and wheelchair basketball. Mike resides in Fredericton, New Brunswick with and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
September 26, 2018
Person Interviewed:
Michael Thier
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Infantry soldier

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