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Keeping company to veterans of the Winter- and Continuation War.

Article about: Hi all, Today I went to a nursing home to talk to veterans. I had arranged a time with one of the workers there and they welcomed me well there, since they like people who do voluntary work

  1. #1

    Default Keeping company to veterans of the Winter- and Continuation War.

    Hi all,

    Today I went to a nursing home to talk to veterans. I had arranged a time with one of the workers there and they welcomed me well there, since they like people who do voluntary work for the elderly.

    This was kind of emotional to me, as I've never got the chance to talk in detail about what happened in the war with veterans. The closest person to me who served in the war was so traumatized, that he didn't like to talk about it and he died years ago. There we're 4 veterans, 3 of the veterans of the Winter and Continuation Wars. One had served in the Continuation War and was part of the soldiers, who stopped the massive Soviet onslaught on the summer of '44. He actually had to march 30km a day from Northern Finland to the Karelian Isthmus. The marching was so excruciating, that he ended up in a hospital because of how badly his legs had been damaged. One person had served in the Anti-Aircraft forces during the wars and he clearly remembers how the Soviet bombers filled the skies, in the eve of the war and how he measured the distances of targets as an anti-air gunner. Other veteran had served in Suomussalmi and Uhtua, where fierce battles we're fought during the Winter and Continuation War. He was in the Infantry Regiment 5 and had even fought in the Battle of the Raate Road, one of the most famous examples of a way smaller opponent encircling it's enemy and destroying it completely. That is what happened to the Soviet 44. Division.

    The most touching veteran and his story was from an over 100 year old man, who had served in the pioneers and had a rank of a Captain. His memory had gotten very bad, so much that he didn't remember where he was born, but he clearly remembered the fierce battles and how they got in close combat with Red army troops and what they yelled, he remembered the Russian words clearly, many phrases of what they yelled in the midst of battle. He showed where he had been wounded, a shrapnel to the right of his knee and his left arms first finger and bent badly from firing.

    All in all, I really enjoyed keeping them company and I will go there again do to some voluntary work. It's was an honor to talk to them and here their stories, it was very touching. Soon their stories will be gone and a part of history is lost forever, so please talk and write down veterans stories that you hear. Their sacrifices shouldn't be forgotten, no matter what side they fought in.

  2. #2
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    That's a great experience, Aleks. It's hard to believe that the youngest veterans are over 80 now.

  3. #3

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    Quote by Erno View Post
    That's a great experience, Aleks. It's hard to believe that the youngest veterans are over 80 now.
    Thanks Rick. It really is and it's sad that they are gone soon, but such is life.

  4. #4

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    You're doing a great job, Aleksander!

    Do you do a dictaphone voice recording of veteran's stories?

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    Quote by Mehti Safarov View Post
    You're doing a great job, Aleksander!

    Do you do a dictaphone voice recording of veteran's stories?
    Thank you Mehti!

    I didn't this time, as I just got to know them. I noticed, that for some of them it was hard to talk about their experiences, but they said what came to their mind, as we sat in a room together and drank coffee. I'm interested in recording their stories, of course only those who are willing and interested to talk more about them.

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    Wise thing to do. It gives the veterans comfort that there are those that care and remember friend.

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    Quote by SteveR View Post
    Wise thing to do. It gives the veterans comfort that there are those that care and remember friend.
    Thanks Steve! Exactly my thoughts.

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    you are so right about them being gone soon.well done.

  9. #9

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    Quote by harryamb2 View Post
    you are so right about them being gone soon.well done.
    Thank you Harry! I really appreciate the support and nice feedback you guys give!

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