Readjusting to Civilian Life

Heroes Remember

Readjusting to Civilian Life

Well, there was a rough adjustment period. You recall, I came home in August of 1944. My regiment was fighting in the Gothic Line at that time and I was in touch with them. My men were in action. They were still being killed. My regiment was still in the midst of everything and with all the good will in the world, listening to my parents’ friends discuss gas rationing and food rationing and the prices of everything, I found it almost impossible to stand. They’d have a party and I would have to leave it within an hour. I couldn’t stand the conversation. The contrast, I’m not impugning these people. They were leading their war in Canada and doing the best they could, manufacturing and, you know, supporting us in every way they could. My father used to send me at least 300 packages of cigarettes and I didn’t smoke cigarettes; I used to give them away. He used to send me food, I remember everybody did what they could. But the contrast between what my regiment was doing and what was happening in Canada, I remember it took me a couple months to adjust to that one. I found it hard.

Mr. Finestone describes how he had a hard time readjusting to civilian life after he returned home to Canada. He also describes the contrast between what was going on in Canada and what his regiment was doing overseas.

Bernard J. Finestone

Mr. Finestone was born in Sacramento, California, and moved to Montreal when he was ten months old. His father served with the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery during the First World War. Mr. Finestone joined the COTC while he was studying at McGill University and when the war broke out he was in officer training. Mr. Finestone served as a tank commander in Italy and during the Italian Campaign, he was severely wounded. Mr. Finestone is an active speaker. He speaks to young Canadians about his military experiences and being a Jewish veteran.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bernard J. Finestone
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North America
5th Armoured Division

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