Clive Doucet: Thanks very much for agreeing to this interview on Canada Day.
Cptn Tom: No problem.
C.D.: You were awarded a jar full of medals in Bosnia but you never mention them and they’re never mentioned in ‘Shooting The Bruce’, I was wondering why.
Cptn Tom: I didn’t write the book, you’ll have to ask the writer.
C.D.: Are you okay with that?
Cptn Tom: I don’t see what medals have to do with the story. The way it was explained to me is the book is about how I made the switch from shooting human beings to shooting flowers and birds with a camera. They don’t give you medals for that – so why have them in the book?
C.D.: You sound a little angry.
Cptn Tom: Maybe I am. I don’t much like Canada Day.
J.D.: Why is that?
Cptn Tom: The Bosnian war was all about patriotism, Croat patriotism, Serb patriotism. Bosnian patriotism. They called it the homeland war – still do. Everyone was killing everyone else. Anyway they could. It’s what’s happening in Syria right now. A man will walk up to a neighbour, someone he’s eaten dinner with and put a bullet in his head. Same thing used to happen in Sarajevo. I’ve seen a grandmother take a garden hoe and do her level best to kill another old lady – that’s where patriotism can take you. People in Canada think it can’t happen here, well it can. It can happen anywhere. Hunter S. Thompson used to call it flag sucking patriotism.
C.D.: That sounds a little harsh.
Cptn Tom: You asked me what I thought of national days, I told you.
C.D.: Maybe we should change the subject.
Cptn Tom: Fine by me.
C.D.: How’s the book going?
Cptn Tom: No idea. It’s not my book.
C.D.: But you’re the subject of it – the hero.
Cptn Tom: I agreed to having my story told because the writer persuaded me it might help other vets suffering from PTS. If it does great, but it’s not my book. I don’t make any money off it. Don’t see why I should I pay attention to how it sells? Think that’s enough.
C.D.: Well, thanks very much for this Tom. Perhaps we could do it again sometime.
Cptn Tom: I’d rather not.