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My father was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and spent three and a half years living in a refugee camp before a church sponsored his family to come by boat to Northern Canada.  He was twelve at the time, could not speak a word of English, and his family had nothing except the clothes on their backs, and a few minor items they traveled with.  At an early age, my father learned valuable lessons that would help shape his life, and many years later, the lives of his sons.  Earning things meant sacrifice; priorities and obligations overshadowed privileges and hard work, discipline, determination and desire were expected, not asked for.  Survival meant scratching, clawing, working, learning and listening in order to learn a new language, adjust to a new culture, and make an honest living.  These experiences molded my father into the man he was: a survivor, a hard worker, and a highly educated professional never forgetting what it took to reach places that, at many times, may have seemed unreachable. I am certain that these experiences have shaped my father’s life in ways that I may never fully understand, but I know deep in my heart he has used these life events to raise his sons into the men they have become today.

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