Veteran Stories:
John Langelier

Army

  • John Langelier in Chandler, Quebec, July 13, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"The army is the army. No special privileges for anyone. That’s what I liked about it."

Transcript

I joined the army because I had a family, four children and my wife was expecting another. We were starving to death because we only had $2.50 a week. So that’s why I joined the army. I remember that the year that I joined, 1941, there was a gang of prisoners from the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Penitentiary [in Laval, Quebec] who had been released so that they could join the Army. I remember that well. I was worried about that, afraid of prisoners doing bad things. They hadn’t been locked up for nothing. The rest of us were well-behaved, we didn’t have criminal records. They called it a draft, the 50 or 60 soldiers who boarded the ship to Halifax [Nova Scotia], or they were sent to Petawawa [Ontario] or Vancouver [British Columbia]. As for me, I never left Quebec City. I went to Lauzon, but that wasn’t far from Quebec City. Don’t show up late, since it’s the Army. If the train went off the tracks, it wasn’t our fault, but they wouldn’t have it. The army is the army. No special privileges for anyone. That’s what I liked about it.
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