I chose this topic because my grandfather was in a Portuguese war. I would like to talk about my grandfather, about when he got shot and a bullet went in one side and out the other side. Thank god my grandfather survived becasue if he didn’t I wouldn’t be here.
Interview with my grandfather Mr. Fernando Carvalho
1. How old were you when you went to war?
I was 20 years old when I had to go for my medical inspection. All the young guy’s without health problems had to go to the army.
2. Did you want to go to the army?
Of course not, we didn’t have much choice back then. All Able men hust had to. If we didn’t show up they would come looking for us.
3. How long were you in training?
We all had to train for the first 6 month’s meaning getting in shape. For the next 6 month’s after that like they say we got the professional training with the guns and all that stuff.
4. Where and why did they go to war?
They shipped us on a ship to Africa, but my platoon was based in the province of Angola. We were there to defend the provinces that belonged to Portugal like Guinea, Mozambique, Macau and a part of India also. These provinces are rich in diamonds and other minerals.
There was the G3, GMC Mowser with the bayonet at the end of it, bazooka that launches the grenades to blow up the cars and my favourite one is the MB that shoot 1500 bullets per minute.
6. Did you have to help the cook’s?
Yes, we all had our turn, there was only 2 cook’s for all those men.
7. How many men were you?
What in my platoon? (Meaning the group that I go on field rounds with) Yes! In my platoon we were 25 men in total.
8. How long were you in Angola?
I was supposed to be there for 3 year, until I got shot.
9. So, when did you get shot?
Well actually it happened 15 days before I was suppose to go back home to my family.
10. How many bullets went into you?
I got shot with 3 bullets. 2 of them went in and out but their was one that stayed inside of me.
11. What happened after you got shot?
They took me back to the camp for the doctors to stabilize me. Only half an hour later that’s when it started to hurt. They only air lifted me the next day by helicopter, to take me back to Portugal. It was touch and go, during the time that I was in the hospital I had to have 4 different operations not including when they took out the bullet. My stay lasted 8 long month’s before I was allowed to go home.
12. How did you feel when you got shot?
To be honest, I didn’t feel anything! We were going back to camp and we got ambushed. When I hear d the shots I went down on the floor of the truck, that is when the bullets hit me but I didn’t feel it at that moment. I jumped out of the truck, saw a friend on the ground, picked him up and took him into the bush.
Only after, I noticed I was bleeding. I wasn’t scared! I never even thought I was going to die.