Why do love my dog?….. do you really have to ask??

Posted in Mishka Kamatchaktuq on April 21, 2013 by vic

an overwhelming response to “My Two Decade War” presentation from the kids of All Saints

Posted in Sarajevo on April 21, 2013 by vic

from an email received this morning from Alison Garner, a teacher at All Saints Catholic College Y9 pupils to whom I presented “My Two Decade War” presentation to last month.

“Hi Vic,

I have lots of letters to forward to you from the kids at school so if you give me a mailing address I’ll get them to you asap as the kids are eagerly awaiting replies- you’re going to have severe writer’s cramp! ”

I am looking forward to receiving 165 letters from my teenage audience…. it is important for them to understand the world outside of their own.

A beautiful video of my relationship with Mishka by Shane Crelin

Posted in Mishka Kamatchaktuq on April 14, 2013 by vic


Scenes from Sarajevo

Posted in Sarajevo on April 2, 2013 by vic

Lunch in SarajevoChess in the marketplace

Market in Sarajevo

Market in Sarajevo


Cats in Bascarsija

Cats in Bascarsija


Old lad searching for food in hotel waste bin

Old lad searching for food in hotel waste bin



morning play with Bojka

morning play with Bojka


“My Two Decade War”… a presentation to 165 year 9 children of All Saints Catholic College

Posted in Sarajevo with tags on March 19, 2013 by vic

on 6th March I received an email from Alison Garner, a teacher whom I met in Sarajevo for the first time last Summer at a children’s riding camp in the mountains of Kakrinje where we were volunteering… here’s the gist..

“My y9 students are doing a project on conflict poems and have looked at poems from WW1 as well as ‘Out of the Blue’ by Simon Armitage (about 9/11). We’ve talked about the damaging psychological effect of war/conflict on military personnel but, having been fortunate enough to have no first hand experience of this myself, I can’t really get across how terrible these experiences are. That’s where you come in! Would you be able to come in and talk to them about your experiences in Bosnia? ”

Although Alison was unaware, as I received the email I myself had been suffering acute symptoms of ptsd since early 2011 (some 16 months) and was just about to attend a Paradigm Change Programme at www.talking2minds.co.uk at a time when I felt there was no help for “someone like me” having ALMOST given in to my nightmares and flashbacks of almost 20 years of ineffective NHS treatment and having been told by Combat Stress that “you are too acute for us to take you”… I was taking the coward’s way out.  Talking2minds support SAVED MY LIFE… no more no less.

So, this invitation encouraged me to “speak out” about my illness to raise awareness… Here’s what happened… a 1 hour film presentation which I hope will provoke thought and response from every one of the kids who listened so attentively….

On the seat of each child was a small slip of paper that Alison had prepared… each bore the name of a child who lost their life in the siege of SREBRENICA, Bosnia Hercegovina.

As the children poured into the assembly room chatting and distracted I shouted… “QUIET”

and said:  “on each of your chairs is a slip of paper bearing the name of a child of your age who lost their life in Srebrenica, one of the worst genocides in modern history.  Please take it, write your name on it, put it in your purse/wallet.  Now you are connected.  Please pray for the child with whom you are now connected, tonight and always”.

The kids sat quickly… and in silence.

On the back of each chair in the assembly hall Alison had also stuck an extract of my first ever poem “My Two Decade War”.  About my own personal battle with an illness I didn’t ask for, but am PROUD of the reason I have it.  I bore witness to the horrors and atrocities of War in Sarajevo and have witnessed it’s aftermath for the past 18 years.  A war that could have been stopped much sooner.

I make this post to raise awareness of the amazing work of talking2minds and ask you to consider donating to support them in saving the lives of those who didn’t die in our war.  Yet we continue to fight our own war… our memories, memories created so that YOU can sleep safe at night.

Much more needs to be done for my comrades, many whom, like me, suffer a disease like cancer, yet it doesn’t kill… until you kill yourself with the potential, for some, to harm others without the right help.

I also have a “closed” Facebook group, PHOENIX RISING, offering mutual support, healing and a channel for sufferers of ptsd to getting the right treatment… “Shift Happens” and “Together We are Stronger”.  Look me up on Facebook or YouTube if you wish to join PHOENIX RISING or need help/support with ptsd.



Vic & Mishka’s 24 hour Road Trip to the Lakes

Posted in Outdoors & Nature on February 10, 2013 by vic

Times of my life… and my love for Hurmija, the Mujic Family, Sarajevo and Sarajevans.

Posted in Sarajevo on February 7, 2013 by vic

a short video put together without my knowledge by Shane Crelin.  I feel truly honoured by this tribute.  Thanks Shane 🙂



I’ve become a budding poet.. inspired by my love of people, animals and the outdoors :-)

Posted in Outdoors & Nature on January 13, 2013 by vic
good times :)

good times 🙂

An ode to my friends of 8 Below….. written after a Saturday morning of Fun, Fun… FUN!

I joined a group called “8 Below”
with our Huskies & ‘Mutes to the woods we would go
for hours we walked sharing stories & laughter
memories to treasure from here ever after

So this poem I write
by whom inspired?
a bald Navy guy
who has now retired 🙂

The idea of forming a Husky Mush Group
if you ain’t a member
you’re not in the Loop!

Day-day-day our numbers grow stronger
and new memories we’ll create
that will last even longer

We invite you to join the Community called “8 Below”
coz we ain’t just Cool
We are SUB ZERO…

My dear black lab; Mia… gone but never forgotten.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2012 by vic

Bascarsija, Sarajevo… City of my Dreams.

Posted in Sarajevo on July 8, 2012 by vic