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My name is Samuel Hearns. I was born on the Alderville reservation, southeast of Toronto.
When the Korean War broke out, I decided that was the time for me to leave. I joined the army in Kingston, Ontario, on May the 28th, 1951, and everything was all filled up so they asked me if I would like to join the 1st Infantry Brigade that was going to Germany in 1951.
In those three years that I was in Germany, I used to go on holidays, or leave, and go to England, and I met my wife in England. In the fall of '52 we got married in England. I came back to Canada and she came behind me. Within a few months, she joined me in Canada.
I tried civie life and that only lasted six months so I re-enlisted in the army and I went up to London, Ontario, with the Airborne Regiment, RCR. I'd found a home in the army, because my life at home was not very good, so I spent twenty-five years in the army and I got out in - I retired in '74 - and all through those years, mostly my service was in peacekeeping.
They needed people to go to Vietnam to do different jobs so I volunteered for that, and I was away for six months. I was in there in the '60s when the advisors were there, before everything started. I spent a lot of time in Hanoi doing different jobs.
I went to Cyprus for six months, and on the way home from Cyprus we went to Quebec. At that time, we got a message over the aircraft that we were all going to some place in Quebec for the FLQ crisis. We had a duty to do there. I think we spent a month and a half there or something. It was really a dragged out thing because nobody really knew what was happening. They kept a lot of information to themselves.
It's a good life, but like I say, you have to be cut out for it because you're away a lot now. And I was away a lot actually during that time, for the twenty-five years that I put in.
I went back to my roots about thirty years ago, and I've done quite well with that. I run powwows. I'm what you call a Head Veteran at times at different pow-wows, and I became an eagle staff carrier, which is a great privilege. You have to earn those things, and I have a few eagle feathers. And two years ago I was given a complete eagle bustle and dancing stick. I think I have around a hundred eagle feathers with my staff, bustle and dancing stick. So I've really done quite well with going back to my roots, which I'm very proud of.