Our Side of the Mountain
This is a story about a veteran in World War II. His name is Douglas Roy LeBlanc. I would like to let you know about the pain that many veterans went though during the war.
Douglas was twenty years old at the time he joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in 1940 in Halifax. As Hitler declared war, many people were devastated. Douglas volunteered to join the navy because he wanted to fight for his country. Many young people do not realize what the veterans went through in the war. I could not tell you in words how painful it must have been for these veterans.
Douglas was not married at the time when he joined the war, but he had thirteen brothers and sisters, and a mother and father who he left behind. Douglas told me in his own words how heartbreaking it was to see his friends get shot and die. Most of all, he had to watch his very best friend die right in front of him. There was nothing else to do but keep on fighting. He also told me that when you had a friend in the war, you did not know how long your friendship would last, or if it would even last.
Doug’s father, Solomon LeBlanc, also fought for his country in World War I. He was shot at Vimy Ridge. A soldier found him and he was taken to the hospital in England. They thought that he was dead, but he was still alive. They couldn’t do anything for him. For nine months he rolled on the floor trying to breathe. He lost so much weight that he went down to ninety pounds. They then sent for a doctor from Halifax to come to England to help Solomon. When the doctor arrived, he said “Solomon, what you need is air.” That is what the doctor did – he gave him air by punching a hole into his throat and putting in a tube. When Solomon began to breathe better, he grabbed the doctor’s hand as tears were rolling down his face. He then started to rub the doctor’s hand to thank him. Solomon was the first man to ever live with a tube in his throat. He was told that he would only live a year, but he ended up living until he was seventy-one years old. Solomon was also given a king’s discharge from the army.
The following song is by my grandfather, Solomon LeBlanc, from Alder Point. He wrote it when he returned from World War I. My father now continues the tradition and still sings this song today.
Picture was seen of a child in a home, gazing up in surprise
when a man came in with a mask over both of his eyes.
The little girl cried, “Please, Sir, don’t steal Daddy’s medals, the medals he’s won overseas.
They were found by his side before he died and sent to my mother and me.
You can take the doll Santa Claus sent me, but please don’t steal Daddy’s medals, the medals he won overseas.”
Submitted by Bobby Jean Dodd
North Sydney Day