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Life after the War

Heroes Remember

It gave me a lot of self-esteem for myself. Cause I know I was capable of doing things on my own or whatever I was doing. I was more sure of myself about everything. The only thing that I found from time to time was, I experienced some discrimination against my nationality sometimes. The odd ball of it was you know that, that discrimination I got it two ways sometimes. The Indian didn't want me, he says I was a white man. The white man didn't want me, he says I was an Indian. So here I was in between. And I can't help my heritage, whatever it is. That's what God gave me. And I am a person and I am proud of myself. And I was taught that to be proud of who I am. So with coming back home you know, you even experience some of these things, not that much really because I was a very competitive person. If you worked hard, I worked twice as hard as you. And if you wanted my job, you'd have to work your ass off. That's the way it was. So I didn't change jobs because they didn't want me, I only changed jobs to better myself. But I had to earn it, just like anything else. It's like being a soldier you know, you want to win, there comes a time you have to fight to win. And life is always a struggle, nothing ever comes easy.

Mr. Letendre, at one time, the leader of Canada's Aboriginal Veterans Association reflects on how his wartime experience affected him during his life following his service.

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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