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Pinned Down

Heroes Remember

We got pinned down for 4 hours one time, the company commander and I and they were radio operator. We were looking into the green line, making sure that no one has moved forward into it. One gun fire, we couldn't fire back because we had to get permission from NATO. I found that really extreme measure not to fire back at the enemy or someone that's firing at you and you got to get permission from New York, that's ridiculous. One of my outposts got rabies, the dog got rabies. I had to ask permission to kill that dog and I had to tell them when the dog was going to be killed. I got the permission that the shot will be fired six o'clock in the morning I told my corporal in charge, I says, " You kill that dog tomorrow at six o'clock sharp." I heard a bang, nothing to get excited about because it's coming from my, our positions. I went to see the corporal at regular time. I didn't make a special trip whether the dog was, had been killed or not, you know, I was just doing my job when I noticed the dog's still alive. I says, "What the heck happened here?" and he said to me, "I couldn't kill that dog. I aimed it, but I turned my head away as I pressed the trigger, missed him ". And he was only allowed one shot. I had to go back ask permission again and I was instructed, I was ordered that I kill the dog myself. I went out there the next morning at 6 o'clock I took my revolver and shot the dog. So many weird little things, you know, some humour in them too.

Mr. Eagle talks about being pinned down for 4 hours. He also talks about how they had to get permission from NATO to do anything from fire back at those that had them pinned down to shooting a dog with rabies.

Tom Eagle

Mr. Eagle was born on the Ojibwa First Nation Reserve in Valley River, Manitoba, in 1932. Upon seeing the impressive way two Second World War Veterans conducted themselves on the reserve, Mr. Eagle decided to enlist in the army at the age of 19 in hopes of fighting in the Korean War. However recruitment for NATO was also taking place and Mr. Eagle was sent to Germany as a new member of the NATO peacekeeping force. Within six months Mr. Eagle became a corporal and also a platoon commander and Sergeant while serving in Cyprus. A strong leader and disciplinarian, Mr. Eagle also coached the unbeatable Queen's Own Rifles cross country running team. After spending 25 years in the army Mr. Eagle took his discharge in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, where he has made it his home, and has continued his leadership role educating people in his fight for the recognition of First Nation Veterans, speaking to students in public schools and working with the cadets and rangers in Yellowknife. Mr. Eagle also took part in the 2005 Aboriginal Spiritual Journey.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Tom Eagle
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Platoon Sergeant

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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