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Illness Sends Him Home To Canada

Heroes Remember

Illness Sends Him Home To Canada

Interviewer: How long was it before you saw your mother and father again? Well that was in May when they sent me home. I went to the, they sent me to the Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary. I stayed there til July 15th. And I elected to take my discharge there and then I asked to go to Pacific and he says, "No, you can't go to Pacific." he says, "Your health won't allow you to go, front line duty anymore." But he says, "You want to stay in the service?" he says, "Well you are a good soldier, we'll keep you." But I elected to get out. Interviewer: Tell me Mr. Letendre, what do you remember about your reunion with your mother and father? Well I went out to the lake to visit my mom and father where they lived, out in the country. Oh mom said, she cried, she says "I'm glad you're home". You know, and I was glad I was home to you know. I guess she prayed hard for me, it was quite religious person. And I think I got a little bit of it from her too. I think I did, in fact I did. Interviewer: And what about your father? He gave me a big hug. He didn't say too much, he was just happy. He had tears in his eyes. He was happy and proud of me. He was always proud of me. That's one thing I say about my father, he was always proud of me.

Sent home with pleurisy, Mr. Letendre spends several months at the Colonel Belcher Hospital in Calgary. The war in the Pacific is still in progress when he's released from hospital and he decides he should be there. The army, for health reasons, decides otherwise. Following his discharge, he went home to visit his parents.

Hugh Victor Letendre

Mr. Letendre was born on March 4, 1925 in the small hamlet of Lac Ste-Anne, Alberta. As a Métis, he grew up speaking Cree, French and English. He came from a large family with one brother and eight sisters. His father was a trapper and did a lot of commercial fishing. Mr. Letendre learned how to hunt and fish from his father.

When he was 11 years old he became the janitor for the one-room school that he also attended as a student. He would sweep the floors, make the fire in the morning, and haul water and coal. For all that, he was paid $4.00 a month which he gave back to his family because they had very little money at the time.

He enlisted at the age of 18 and served during the Second World War as a rifleman with the Calgary Highlanders. His overseas deployment included time serving in the Normandy Campaign after D-Day. After the war he became a leader of Canada's Aboriginal Veterans Association.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Hugh Victor Letendre
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Calgary Highlanders

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