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Remembrance Day Becomes More Important

Heroes Remember

Remembrance Day Becomes More Important

My experience on deployment, especially this deployment, was the most rewarding experience I ever had in my life as a nurse and as a person. Oh, these people will be my family for the rest of my life. I still call a lot of my nursing friends who are all across Canada. We try to join each other on conferences. We still speak about Afghanistan, mostly positive. And I will do anything for these people. If they call me up at a drop of a hat, whatever they need I’m there, and I know that they would do the same for me. That’s what happens when you live under duress, duress situations. And I also felt guilty from coming back to Canada at the beginning. I still had friends that were still doing some operations and I wanted to be there to make sure that they would come home safe as a medical person and I’m not the only one. A lot of the nurses spoke about this. And we realized that the new crew was fresher. They were better for them anyways, but we felt it was our personal responsibility because they were friends of ours to ensure that they came back. So I felt guilty when I came back. I wanted to go immediately back to Afghanistan. This year was my first Remembrance Day since Afghanistan and completely changed. I used to participate, do what I was told. Yes, it must be acknowledged. Remembrance Day is an important day for our Veterans. For me it made me remember what I had experienced, became quite saddened and I wasn't the only one. A lot of my friends who was in Afghanistan with me, we spoke about it and all of us felt different on that day or leading up to that day and a little bit after that day. It brought our memories back and yeah. It becomes more important.

Ms. Streppa reflects on her service to date, the rewards of having served in Afghanistan, and the guilt for having to leave. She also shares her renewed appreciation of Remembrance Day.

Joanna Streppa

Ms. Streppa was born in Montreal. She joined the Canadian Forces in 1989 as a non-commissioned member and trained as a Naval Signaller. From 1990 - 1997 she was employed in the Halifax area with the exception of a two year tour at the National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa. After obtaining her Nursing degree from Dalhousie University, Ms. Streppa received her Officer Commission, specializing in Critical Care, and in 2004 was promoted to rank of Lieutenant. In February 2006, she accepted a deployment to Afghanistan/Kandahar and was employed as a Staff Officer within the Canadian Forces Health Services Group Headquarters upon her return.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
February 10, 2008
Person Interviewed:
Joanna Streppa
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Forces Medical Corps
1st Lieutenant
Medical Personnel

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