Volume 95, Issue 29

Wednesday, October 24, 2001
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Western uses web to battle plagiarism

New war stirs bad memories

CBC radio to play student's essay

The world at war

Study: 39% don't care about penny

News briefs

New war stirs bad memories

By Erin Conway-Smith
Gazette Staff

Sharing a drink with friends and fellow war veterans, Fred Doroshenko, 80, finds it difficult to talk about the war in Afghanistan.

He was 18-years-old when World War II broke out. Sent overseas in 1940, Doroshenko worked as an explosives engineer for the next five years, laying and defusing ground mines.

At the age of 20, he fought – and was injured – in the1942 battle of Dieppe, France.

Hit by shrapnel in his shoulder and hip while carrying 60 pounds of explosives, Doroshenko fell into the water, but was saved by his best friend, amidst German gunfire.

Despite his injuries, he stayed on until the end of the war.

At Byron's Royal Canadian Legion hall, Doroshenko, after telling the story of his time at war, said he does not approve of Canadian involvement in Afghanistan.

He has been heavily involved with the Legion for almost 50 years and said he and most fellow veterans don't like to talk about the current war.

"[The war in Afghanistan] shouldn't have to happen," he said.

Ron Beattie, a friend of Doroshenko, was a mechanic with the Royal Canadian Air Force for 20 years, including WWII.

Beattie said he has also spent time living in North Africa and working for Col. Moammar Gadhafi, running errands and taking care of "anything he needed."

Beattie said he supports Canadian involvement in this war because, like WWII, it is a fight for freedom.

However, he said, he had no illusions about what Canadian soldiers were getting themselves into.

"I've worked in that part of the world for 20 years, it's not like over here – people kill people," he said. "You can't enter a war without people being killed. The Afghanis know how to fight."

Beattie said he gives 100 per cent respect to Canadians sent over to fight and assist the United States in Afghanistan. "Canadians were volunteers through all the wars," he noted.

Ron Tinlan, a longtime friend of Doroshenko and Beattie, worked for the reserves in St. Thomas, Ontario during WWII, but never saw combat. He said he supports Canadian involvement in Afghanistan, but thinks Canadians should be doing more to help the U.S..

"We owe our protection to the U.S.," he said, adding cutbacks to the Canadian military have left this country uable to defend itself.

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