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Hard Not to Get Involved

Heroes Remember

Hard Not to Get Involved

Interviewer: What would be the hardest thing to deal with in Croatia? I think that the crying mothers or wives even the children who were old enough to know that something bad had happened to their father, brother. You know there was a lot of atrocities committed by all sides and you would see that. You would see how, if they figured that these people would eventually fight against them, how they would take care of that situation and you would be a witness later, after the fact to that situation. Or not being able to do anything about it, to, to hear it happening. To call it in and to be told that if you are not being fired on you will not return fire. But to know that those people were being fired on and you couldn't really do anything about it until after when they said okay you know if everything's clear you can move in and record the evidence of what happened and send it up hot through the chain of command and higher to go wherever it went so... I mean it might have been easy for someone in New York to say that, but it wasn't them who was going in and looking and seeing what they did, either you know trying to destroy the, the evidence of death by burning the bodies trying to burn them to a crisp well that doesn't always happen there's some left behind let me tell you. And you know the other things that would go on there, you know in the way of what people were doing to each other was hard to take. Especially I think a lot of times the children crying for food, and the mothers crying, wives crying because they had lost their loved one. There's a lot of I think single female parents in that country I don't know what the statistics would be, but I'm sure back between 92' and up until the war had subsided or ended in Croatia there was a lot of single parents with children who were you know fatherless. So that was hard to, that was hard to do.

Mr. Neepin explains the difficulty he felt in being ordered to observe conflicts or persecution of civilians, and document the aftermath, but not get involved unless directly fired upon.

Darcy Jeremy Neepin

Mr Neepin was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and moved to Winnipeg with his family while still young. An uncle who served with the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) told him many stories as he grew up. From these stories he gained knowledge of what military life as an infantryman was like and before he turned 12 years old he was sure he wanted to serve. At the age of 18 Mr. Neepin joined the Cameron Highlanders Reserves. Being of Cree descent, he was the only Aboriginal Canadian in his recruiting class of 30. In 1990 Mr. Neepin answered the call for volunteers to join the 1st Battalion PPCLI for a peacekeeping tour in Cyprus. Having his first overseas experience under his belt, he returned home in the summer of 1991. Mr Neepin continued to volunteer for overseas peacekeeping missions, serving with the PPCLI for the 1992/93 tour in Croatia and in 1997 & 2000 in Bosnia.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Darcy Jeremy Neepin
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

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