John A. Brink was born in 1940 in Nazi-occupied Holland during the Second World War. From the time he could walk, his days often consisted of foraging for food with his brother and sister during harsh warlike conditions, surrounded by death and hardship, especially during the hunger winter of 1944/45.
John’s mother was left to raise her three kids alone when their father was drafted into the Dutch Army. They wouldn’t know if he was dead or alive until the liberation of their village, by Canadian soldiers, on April 12, 1945.
This was the exact moment when John determined he would one day move to Canada – the land of his heroes. He was only five years old when this decision was rendered. Like many others who lived through that time, John has lived his entire life with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting from being in a warzone.
After serving in the Dutch Air Force for two years, John subsequently emigrated to Canada in July 1965, arriving in Prince George with $25.47 in his pocket.
To this day, John can still hear the thousands of bombers in the sky when he closes his eyes. Regardless of which side you were on during World War II, we were all victims of war, fighting for the hope of better days ahead.
In this solo podcast feature, John reflects on what it was like being a young boy stuck in the middle of a world war and then spending the rest of his life with PTSD.
On November 11th each year, Canadians stand in collective Remembrance for all who have fallen in the military service of their country. We also honour those who continue to serve today.
On Remembrance Day, please support the annual poppy campaign and take a moment to reflect on the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy today.
#LestWeForget #RemembranceDay #WorldWar #WorldWar2