Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coming to grips 46 years on - Thursday, November 12, 2009

IT has been 46 years since his retirement from the Fiji Military Forces, but 91-year-old Jale Bainisika still fights the enemies in his sleep.

Mr Bainisika was 21 years old when he went to Solomon Islands in World War II.

"The events were terrifying," he said.

"I remember the death of my two closest colleagues. The world today is so peaceful and I am glad the generation today didn't witness the tragedy of war."

Mr Bainisika travelled to the Solomons in a cargo ship, a journey of four days to Bougainville.

"I still remember the first night in Bougainville, when the Japanese attacked. We were shooting at them, trying our best to make them crash into the sea to avoid crashing on land and killing our soldiers."

Mr Bainisika said the torture carried out by the Japanese was horrendous.

But his faith motivated him to think positive and he thanked God each morning.

Although he was glad to leave Bougainville after a year, the nightmares kept coming back.

"Going though it was difficult, seeing the faces of friends and reliving the war made me feel like dying," he said.

As the phrase goes, time heals all wounds, his nightmares decreased as well.

The love from his family of seven has helped him cope with the tragedy of war.

Remembrance Day was also a time when he could reunite with colleagues.

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