"I said, what can I do for you? He said, it’s not what you can do for us; it’s what we can do for you."
It was just after breakfast, I went back to my unit [the West Nova Scotia Regiment], but a guy come looking for me. He said, Hartlen? Yes? You’re wanted down front (that was the front of the building). I said, who is it? He said, I don’t know. He just said he was looking for a Hartlen and he had volunteered for this outfit. So, anyway, I went down and come to find out, he was from Cape Breton.
So, anyway, I said, what can I do for you? He said, it’s not what you can do for us; it’s what we can do for you. I wasn’t moving out that day. And he said, you ready to move, you got everything ready? No, I says, nobody told me to be ready to move out or anything like that. He said, well, we’re going down to Santa Maria [Italy]. Santa Maria? Yeah.
So after we got there, there was a fellow there and he knew one of the volunteers; and he said to him, do you know where your unit is at? No, he said. No, he said, I don’t know. He says, they just coming around, looking for volunteers. Well, he said, I’ll tell you where they’re at. He said, they’re up on the Anzio Beachhead and they’re getting the shit kicked out of them.
We had 48 hours, I think it was, to change our mind. So he changed his mind, right there. So he went back to Avellino and that’s the last we heard of him.