Transcript: Canadian Peacekeepers | Dec 27, 1994

Two soldiers appear in an open field. They wear green uniforms and helmets. One of them is kneeled and talks using a handheld radio.

He says SERIAL ONE, FIRE!
[explosions]
OKAY, YOU'VE GOT TWO MINUTES
TO FILE YOUR REPORTS.

An entire soldier squadron take down notes on small notebooks.

A male voice says EVERYONE AGREES
THAT WAS A 105?

Another male voice says YUP.

The first male voice says HOW MANY ROUNDS?
DIRECTION, WHAT DO YOU
THINK THE DIRECTION WAS?

Another male voice says GIVE ME A COMPASS.

A young soldier grabs a compass and places it on a map. He seems to be taking measures.

A male voice says DID YOU GET THAT
ON THERE?
COMING FROM THE EAST?

Another male voice says HIGH EXPLOSIVE
10-105

Another male voice says GOOD, YEAH.
HEAVY, HEAVY 105.

Another one says SAY THAT WAS A
VILLAGE DOWN THERE?

A man faces the screen. He’s in his forties, with short reddish hair and a moustache. He wears a green soldier uniform and helmet.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Corporal Jack Tweedie.”

Jack says THAT'S A FIRE-POWER
DEMONSTRATION,
IT'S TO SHOW US THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORTARS,
HOW TO IDENTIFY
MORTAR SPLASHES,
OR ARTILLERY
SPLASHES, AND HOW
TO IDENTIFY THEM
BY THE SOUND.
THE INFORMATION THEN GETS
PASSED ON TO A HIGHER
HEADQUARTERS GROUP AND
FROM THERE THEY CALL
ALL THAT INFORMATION AND
THEY'RE ABLE THEN TO...
A COMMANDER MIGHT
HAVE TO INTERVIEW
OR NEGOTIATE WITH SAY A
LOCAL SERVING COMMANDER
OR CROATIAN COMMANDER AND
THEN THEY'LL HAVE TO SAY
WE'VE GOT THIS PROOF THAT
YOU DID THIS BECAUSE
WE'VE GOT THE BEARING,
WE'VE GOT THE DISTANCE
AND WE KNOW THAT
IT'S FROM YOUR AREA
AND SO THEY'RE ABLE TO
TAKE THAT INFORMATION
AND USE THAT, I GUESS,
AS A BARGAINING CHIP.

A major is talking in front of the rest. He’s in his late-thirties, with closely-cropped hair and a moustache. He is in green uniform and wears a green beret.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Captain. J.P. Mathieu.”

He says AT SOME TIME, YOU'LL
BE LOOKING AT YOUR O.P.
A TRUCK WILL BE DRIVING
BY AT THE SAME TIME
AS A ROUND IS GOING OVER.
YOU'RE NOT GOING
TO HEAR THAT ROUND,
ALL YOU'RE GOING
TO SEE IS A SPLASH.
IT'S GOING TO BE HARD
FOR YOU TO SAY, YEAH,
IT CAME FROM THAT
SIDE OR THAT SIDE.
IF YOU DON'T KNOW,
YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE,
DON'T TRY TO
GUESS THAT PART.
YOU'RE JUST GOING TO MAKE
LIFE MORE COMPLICATED
FOR WHOEVER HAS
TO GO INVESTIGATE
WHO SHOT THAT
MORTAR OR THAT GUN.
SO MOST OF THE TIME,
HOW IT'S GOING TO BE
IS OBSERVING, OKAY?

A close up shows he has a small Canada flag tacked on one of the shoulders of his uniform.

He continues PARAGRAPH FOXTROT, ANY OTHER
IMPORTANT DETAIL YOU THINK
SHOULD BE WORTH IT
TO BE SENT UP,
I.E. A ROUND LANDED
INTO A SCHOOLYARD.

Jack says THAT SORT OF
THING WOULD, I GUESS,
THAT COULD EVEN BE
USED IN THE FUTURE FOR,
SAY, POSSIBLE WAR CRIMES,
WAR CRIMES' TRIALS,
BECAUSE THAT'S NOT
COOL, THAT'S NOT ON,
I'M SURE IT'S AGAINST THE
GENEVA CONVENTION TO START
SHELLING HOSPITALS
AND THINGS LIKE THAT,
ANY PLACE WHERE KIDS
MIGHT BE.
I WAS IN SARAJEVO, ON
THE VERY FIRST TOUR,
AND WHILE I WASN'T AT
A PARTICULAR INCIDENT,
THERE WERE A BUNCH OF KIDS
THAT WERE MORTARED RIGHT
IN FRONT OF SOME OF OUR OWN
PEOPLE AND THEY SAW THEM.
IT WAS PRETTY TERRIBLE
AND THE KIDS WERE VERY,
VERY BADLY, VERY SERIOUSLY
INJURED AND I BELIEVE
ONE OF THEM DIED A SHORT
TIME THERE AFTERWARDS.
AND I'M KINDA GLAD
I DIDN'T SEE THAT.

Now, another man appears. He’s in his late-forties, with closely-cropped blond hair and a moustache. He wears a green uniform and a black beret. He stands behind a podium.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Major Jon Vance.”

He says MY NAME IS MAJOR JON VANCE,
I'M THE BATTALION OPERATIONS
OFFICER AND MY FUNCTION IS
ON BEHALF OF THE COMMANDING
OFFICER TO RUN THE
OPERATIONS OF THE BATTALION
BOTH HERE TRAINING AND
OPERATIONALLY IN THEATRE.
WHAT WE HAVE IS A
PIECE OF GROUND HERE,
A TRAINING AREA
THAT WE WORK IN,
AND WHAT WE'VE DONE IS
WE'VE TRIED TO REPLICATE,
AS CLOSELY AS WE CAN,
THE OPERATIONS
AS THEY EXIST IN
THEATRE, IN CROATIA.
IN CROATIA THERE ARE
TWO BELLIGERENT
FACTIONS IN OUR AREA.
ON ONE SIDE OF A ZONE OF
SEPARATION ARE SERBIANS AND
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ZONE
OF SEPARATION ARE CROATIANS.
WHAT WE'VE DONE HERE IS WE
HAVE IDENTIFIED A ZONE
OF SEPARATION IN THE
TRAINING AREA,
WHICH WE MONITOR THROUGH THE
ESTABLISHMENT OF OBSERVATION
POINTS IN WHICH WE
PATROL AND WE RESPOND
TO INCIDENTS AS
THEY OCCUR.

Now a group of soldiers lie on the ground on their stomachs behind big stones. They fire machines guns with bipods.

[rustling]
[gunshots]
[loading guns]
[gunshots]

A woman appears on screen. She’s in her thirties. She wears a gray t-shirt, green trousers and a green jungle hat. She sits among some plants.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Private Allison Riddell.”

She says I AM PRIVATE RIDDELL
FROM GUELPH, ONTARIO.

The cameraman asks ARE YOU WOUNDED?

Allison says I'M, YEAH I'M SUPPOSED
TO BE WOUNDED, YES.
I HAVE SHRAPNEL IN THE NECK
AND THROUGH THE COLLARBONE
AND I HAVE BURNS ON
MY WHOLE LEFT SIDE.
WE'RE THE BELLIGERENT FORCES;
AND RIGHT NOW WE'RE THE S.K.V.
FOR THE CROATIAN ARMY
AND WE JUST FINISHED
WITH THE FIREFIGHT,
THE H.V. BELLIGERENTS,
AND WE'RE JUST HELPING
OUT THE COMPANIES HERE
TO GET READY FOR
YUGOSLAVIA.
[gunshots]
IT'S GETTING US TO REACT
QUICKLY TO WHATEVER
IS HAPPENING AROUND US.
I WOULDN'T KNOW
HOW TO COMPARE IT
BECAUSE I HAVEN'T BEEN
THERE, SO IT'S HARD TO SAY.
[tank rumbling]

Now, a tank appears. A soldier in full-uniform gets out of the tank, holds his hands up and shouts U.N.!
U.N., HOLD FIRE!
COMMANDER, U.N.!

A male voice says HOLD FIRE!
I'VE BEEN SHOT!
[shouting]

One of the soldiers lies on the ground. Another one shouts YOU GUYS HUDDLE OUT HERE.
[shouting]
WHO SHOT ME?
GOOD, LEAVE YOUR
MAN RIGHT THERE.

A man faces the camera. He’s in his forties, clean-shaven, with closely-cropped hair. He wears a green uniform.

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Sargent Steve Gates.”

He says ANYTIME YOU DON A LIGHT
BLUE BERET AND GO IN ANOTHER
INDIVIDUAL'S COUNTRY,
ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE'S
A WAR OF THAT MAGNITUDE, A
CIVIL WAR OR NOT INVOLVED,
THERE'S A CERTAIN DEGREE
OF DANGER AND THERE'S BEEN
UNTOLD INCIDENTS WHERE
PEOPLE WEARING THE U.N. BERET
HAS BEEN SHOT AT AND
BUSINESS LIKE THAT,
SO THAT'S ALWAYS THE SITUATION
THAT CAN OCCUR TO YOU.
I THINK THE MOST FRIGHTFUL
WOULD BE DEFINITELY ABOUT
MIDNIGHT ON APRIL 21, 1993.
AND WITHOUT TOTAL WARNING,
THE PERPETRATOR THREW IN
WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A
FRAGMENTATION GRENADE
AND IT STRUCK ME IN THE CHEST,
HIT THE CORRUGATED STEEL
IN FRONT OF ME AND DROPPED
RIGHT AT MY HEELS.
AND INSTINCTIVELY
I JUST BENT DOWN,
PICKED IT UP AND THREW
IT OUT AND YELLED “GRENADES!”
AND THE SOLDIERS AROUND
ME MANAGED TO GET DOWN
IN TIME ALONG WITH MYSELF.
THE GRENADE SUBSEQUENTLY
EXPLODED MAYBE 15, 20 FEET AWAY
FROM ME AND, OF COURSE, IT
ALL KNOCKED US FOR A LOOP
INSIDE THIS LITTLE
OBSERVATION POST
ABOUT 8 FEET WIDE
AND 10 FEET LONG.
IT'S INTERESTING TO NOTE ABOUT
A YEAR AND A HALF HAS GONE BY,
MY WIFE'S EXPECTING A BABY
IN ABOUT TWO WEEKS' TIME
AND THE TWO SOLDIERS
THAT ARE WITH ME,
THEIR WIVES ARE
PREGNANT AS WELL SO,
THE THREE OF US WERE JUST
REFLECTING ON THAT AND
THE MORTALITY OF THE
PEACEKEEPER AND HOW
THREE FAMILIES' LIVES COULD
HAVE CHANGED SO DRASTICALLY
IF THAT PARTICULAR EVENT HAD
GONE IN ANY TYPE OF ADVERSE WAY.

Now, a man drives a van. He’s in his thirties, clean-shaven, with closely-cropped dark hair. He wears a green uniform and a jungle hat.
A caption appears on screen. It reads “Private Trevor Campbell.”

He says MY NAME'S PRIVATE CAMPBELL,
I'M FROM HAMILTON, ONTARIO,
AND I'M CURRENTLY POSTED
IN WITH FIRST BATTALION
ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT.
HEADING OVER IN OCTOBER
WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
PROTECTION FORCE IN
FORMER YUGOSLAVIA,
AND I'LL BE IN CROATIA.
I TRY NOT TO LET THE
SAFETY BOTHER ME,
BECAUSE THAT'S JUST
A PART OF THE JOB.
A POLICE OFFICER GOES TO
WORK EVERY DAY WITH DANGER,
A FIREMAN GOES TO
WORK EVERY DAY,
A BUSINESSMAN GOES
TO WORK EVERY DAY -
HE DRIVES ON THE Q.E.W.
I MYSELF TRY NOT TO LET
THE DANGER BOTHER ME,
IT'S JUST PART OF MY JOB;
WHEREAS, IN THAT I GUESS,
THE THING THAT WORRIES
ME MOST IS THE BOREDOM.
FOR A LOT OF US THIS
IS OUR FIRST TIME,
WELL, NOT INCLUDING MYSELF,
BUT FOR SOME RESERVISTS THAT
CAME UP HERE FROM DIFFERENT
REGIMENTS FROM ALL OVER ONTARIO,
IT WAS THEIR FIRST TIME
ACTUALLY BEING POSTED IN
WITH A REGULAR
FORCE BATTALION.
I, MYSELF INCLUDED, I WASN'T
REALLY SURE WHAT TO EXPECT
FROM THIS BATTALION, BUT
THEY MORE OR LESS - MOST OF
THE SOLDIERS AND THE COMMAND
STRUCTURE WERE GRATEFUL
TO HAVE US HERE BECAUSE
THEY NEEDED US TO AUGMENT
THE REQUIREMENT TO SEND A
WHOLE BATTALION OVERSEAS,
BECAUSE, LET'S FACE IT, DUE
TO BUDGET CUTS, THE ARMY
CAN'T ALONE FULFILL THEIR
JOB WITHOUT HAVING SUPPORT
FROM OTHER REGIONS
OF THE MILITARY.
SO THAT'S WHERE THE
RESERVISTS CAME IN.

Another man faces the screen. He’s in his thirties, clean-shaven, with closely-cropped hair. He wears a green uniform and glasses.

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Captain Craig Gardner.”

He says MY NAME IS CAPTAIN
CRAIG GARDNER,
I'M A LIAISON OFFICER 2
WITH THE 1 R.C.R.
YOU'RE AT WHAT WE CALL THE
FIBUA SITE - FIGHTING IN A
BUILT-UP AREA.

The shot shows 3 rooms made of timber. In one of them, a sofa is placed in one of the corners, next to a small hexagonal barrel that serves as a table. On the sofa, a real size men doll rests.

Craig continues WHAT WE'VE
BUILT HERE IS A THREE-BEDROOM
UNDERGROUND HOUSE FOR
THE SOLDIERS TO CLEAR.

Now, Craig gives instruction to a group of 4 soldiers.

He says THE SCENARIO TODAY IS A
TERRORIST SQUAD; THREE MEN,
SNIPERS, HAVE TAKEN HOSTAGES
AND THEY'VE WITHDRAWN
INTO THIS LOCATION.
THEY'VE ALREADY SHOT
UP ONE OF THE U.N. O.Ps.
THEY'VE TAKEN HOSTAGES
INTO THIS LOCATION
AND ARE PRESENTLY
HOLDING UP THERE.
AND OUR MEN ARE UNDER FIRE
AND THEY HAVE TO COME IN
AND CLEAR OUT THE HOUSE.
THERE'S ALSO GAS
LEAKING IN THE HOUSE
SO MAKE SURE YOU
GET THE GAS OFF.
AGAIN, YOUR TASK IS TO CLEAR
THAT HOUSE AND TAKE CARE
OF THE TERRORISTS
IN THAT HOUSE.
YOU'RE AUTHORIZED BY THE
COMMANDER TO USE GRENADES.

The soldiers brake into the rooms with machine guns.

[gunfire]

One of the soldiers says ONE TERRORIST, ONE
HOSTAGE DOOR TO THE FRONT,
CLOSET ON THE RIGHT!
ROOM CLEAR!
[gunfire]

Another one kicks a door and shouts ONE TERRORIST!
DOOR TO OUR FRONT!

Now, one throws a grenade into one of the rooms and says
READY?!
DOWN.
[gunfire]
[shouting]

Now, out of the rooms, Craig gives some feedback to the soldiers.

He says CLEARING WAS GOOD.
ONE THING YOU'VE
GOT TO WORK ON
IS ACTUALLY HITTING
THE TARGET.
IT'S TOO BAD WE DON'T
HAVE MORE CHANCE
TO DO IT MORE OFTEN.
AS YOU CAN SEE WE
CAN GO THROUGH THAT
AND BUILD A TWO-STOREY
HOUSE WITH A BASEMENT
AND THE DRILLS WOULD BE
THIS EXACT SAME THING.

Now, Craig faces the camera and says I THINK THE
POPULAR CONCEPTION,
OF ESPECIALLY OUR WORK IN
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
IS THAT THERE IS VERY
LITTLE PEACEKEEPING DONE.
BUT I THINK BY MERE PRESENCE,
THE PEACEKEEPING IS BEING DONE.
WE'VE MANAGED TO GET
SOLDIERS INTO SREBRENICA
AND I KNOW FOR A FACT IT
PREVENTED UNTOLD MASSACRES
OF INDIVIDUALS
THAT WERE UP THERE,
JUST BY OUR MERE PRESENCE.

Jon says PEACEKEEPING HAS CHANGED.
THERE'S CERTAINLY A
MORE GREGARIOUS USE OF,
OR MORE AGGRESSIVE USE OF
PEACEKEEPERS TO FILL PERHAPS
A VOID LEFT BY WHAT STANDING
ARMIES DID IN THE COLD WAR.

Jack says YOU NEVER FEEL AS PROUD
OR AS CONSCIOUS OF BEING
A CANADIAN AS WHEN YOU ARE
IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE DON'T THINK
OF THEMSELVES AS CANADIANS
WHEN THEY'RE HERE
IN BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY PETAWAWA
OR WHATEVER, BUT THEY'RE
OUT AND ABOUT SOMEWHERE ELSE
IN A THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY OR
SOMEWHERE ELSE IN EUROPE,
YOU THINK DEFINITELY MORE
THAT YOU ARE A CANADIAN
AND YOU KINDA HOPE THAT
PEOPLE KNOW THAT YOU'RE
CANADIAN AND THERE IS
A LOT MORE FLAG-WAVING,
A LOT MORE PRIDE.

Jon says YOU KNOW I TURN THE
QUESTION BACK ON YOU.
YOU, AS A CANADIAN
CITIZEN, DO YOU...
IF YOUR COUNTRY IS
GOING TO HAVE AN ARMY,
DO YOU WANT IT USED?
DO YOU WANT IT
USED LIKE THIS?
IT'S NOT A QUESTION THAT
I'M NOT GONNA ANSWER,
OR I CAN'T ANSWER, BECAUSE
I'M IN THE UNIFORM
AND I DO WHAT WE'RE
DIRECTED TO DO.
BUT I CAN TELL YOU, I CAN
ASSURE YOU ANYWAY OR THE
PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW YOU, IS
THAT WE'RE CERTAINLY CAPABLE
OF DOING WHAT WE ARE
BEING ASKED TO DO.
AND THE COUNTRY IS LIKELY
REAPING THE BENEFITS
OF HAVING AN ARMY THAT
DOES AS GOOD AS IT DOES.

A clip shows images of the soldiers braking into the timber built rooms.
A soldier says READY.
[guns loading]

Watch: Canadian Peacekeepers