100-year veteran remembers the sacrifices of WWII
Moosomin’s 100-year veteran Gordon Jones is one of the few WWII veterans still with us today.
âThere aren’t many of us left now compared to where we were. I made a lot of great friends during that time, âsaid veteran Jones.
âYou can’t really describe it. You have to be really in it to understand the effects and the things that it has on you. It was certainly an experience.
He joined the army at the age of 20, along with two other men from the Wapella area.
âI enlisted here in Moosomin on June 5, 1942, I was still 20 years old. For a young country boy, I’ve never been further than Moosomin so it was quite an experience.
Jones is from the community of Wapella and is a member of the Whitewood Legion. Jones now lives in the Southeast Integrated Center (SEICC) in Moosomin.
During World War II, veteran Jones faced many battles. He was a machine gunner and operated a Bren machine gun.
âI am proud to have done my duty, a lot of people wanted to stay in Canada. I am proud to have joined the army and to have done my part. I couldn’t just sit there and watch my friends go without doing my homework, âsaid veteran Jones.
He says that at the time there were a lot of young men who joined the military and that they should be proud to serve their country.
âA lot of young men at that time left Canada to go and defend. If a person felt there was not much going for them in the area, they would enlist in the military. As a farm boy who was never far from the prairies it was exciting, but you never really know what it’s like to be away from home until you get there. put on.
After returning to Canada, veteran Jones says it took some time to adjust to civilian life.
âIt took me a while to come back to civilian life. During the battle, you break up with friends. I don’t know anyone now who is still here, the fighters I know are dead, âhe said.
âI made a lot of friendships during this time. If you made a friend in the military, they were your lifelong friend. It was a hidden treasure, it wasn’t that bad.
Many of the medals Jones proudly wears on his chest represent the various campaigns he has been involved in, which has taken him across several countries.
âWe landed in England, then we were in Italy for six months,â Jones said. âWe went to France, and from there I went to Germany. I was in Germany for the past three months as part of the occupation forces. You don’t realize until you get into what it is. In Germany there was a night war and at one point I was unable to return to my unit.
âIt was a bit difficult to return to civilian life. The war affected people differently, there were some guys who were happy and others who went the other way, âhe says.
âThere are not many of us compared to what there was at the time. You can’t really describe it. You are just a cog in a wheel. I had a lot of problems after the war, I could hardly sleep. But over time things seemed to change. I had a great life.
He said serving as a soldier was a big part of his life, but it’s not something he thinks about every day.
âI don’t even think about the war anymore, it’s a thing of the past. I’m just proud to have done my part, I served my country, I did what I could.
This Remembrance Day, with cold temperatures and high winds, Gordon Jones attended the Whitewood Remembrance Day service, standing throughout the service through the freezing cold.