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Soldiers Sent Over Like Guinea Pigs

Heroes Remember

Soldiers Sent Over Like Guinea Pigs

I have to say Yugoslavia was kind of like America’s Vietnam. We were sent over there almost like guinea pigs. There was, we were basically pushed into a situation where, under United Nations banner, Cyprus had been going on for years and years and years but nothing ever happened in Cyprus. We go over there, we’re dealing with people, of course, different cultures, different ideals, and it just made it... They learned a lot from this. Unfortunately, some of the things they didn’t learn in time, were how to basically cope with people’s illnesses, of course coming back from that. I mean like I said, the sights, the smells, the sounds, of war, of Yugoslavia, basically is still haunting people today and it makes it very, very tough. Back then they had no system to decompress the guys. They had no system to help them go through, you know their emotional anxiety. There’s guys, myself included, who have never ever, have never ever looked for help and I think that maybe it’s in due time of course. Other guys unfortunately, were too late for. What’s sad is that more people have taken their life since Yugoslavia than we lost when we were in Yugoslavia. Very, very sad.

Mr. Ott provides his opinion on how his unit was sent over to serve in a country that because of circumstance would haunt them for the rest of their lives.

David Ott

Mr. David Ott was born January 26, 1968 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Fresh out of high school, Mr. Ott made his decision to join the military and entered battle school. The military way of life held a fascination for him and after being in army cadets for 6-7 years prior, it was an easy decision to choose army as his branch of service for active duty service. He joined The Royal Canadian Regiment and held rank of Corporal. Mr. Ott took his basic training in Petawawa, Ontario and after six months there, travelled to Germany for additional preparation. In 1992, Mr. Ott was part of the contingent of soldiers to arrive in the besieged city of Sarajevo for the purpose providing humanitarian aid and medical supplies, as well as reopening of the airport and for this received an honour, Commander-in-Chief Unit commendation. Mr. Ott made the decision to leave the military shortly after this tour.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
David Ott
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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