Rene Portier


As interviewed by Clara P, March 16, 2018
"I came home after the 14 months of training to say good-bye to all of my family because we were leaving but we didn't know if we were going to come back."
Rene Portier

Introductory Profile: About Rene Portier

I interviewed my grandfather, Rene Portier about the Algerian War of Independence. Rene Portier was drafted into the french army. France was against Algeria being independent. At age 20 he was sent into basic military training. During training he specialized as a parachutist. A few months later he decided to train to become a battle nurse. Military and nurse training was stressful and frightening for all the men. The most frightening part was when they had to jump off of a high tower to practice jumping from a plane.

At age 21, my grandfather was sent into war. For some time he was mainly a parachutist, but when more and more soldiers were wounded, he switched to a battle nurse. As a battle nurse, he saw many gruesome injuries. After being in battle for about a year, he returned home to his parents. From that day, until now, he has always refused to talk about his experiences during the war. His main advice is war should be avoided at all cost.