Canadian veteran reunited with boy he befriended in Bosnia decades ago

A Canadian veteran of the Bosnian war who reconnected with a local boy he met during the conflict says meeting him again and finding out he’s doing well two decades later has been one of the best experiences of his life.

Justin Frye, who was posted in the war-torn area with the United Nations in 1994, said meeting the now 34-year-old man, Amir Bajramovic, provides a sense of closure after that tumultuous time in his life.

“I don’t have a lot of tangible items from my time over there, but one thing I always kept was his picture,” said Frye, who now works as a police officer in Barrie, Ont.

Frye befriended Bajramovic over a six-month period, when a number of Bosnian children would run up to a fence near his helicopter landing zone to interact with him and other soldiers.

Bajramovic, who lived in a poverty-stricken area near the landing zone, stuck out to Frye because he was always engaging and interested, despite not speaking English.

“When he saw me he would always run to the fence to see me, then he would always shout for his sister to come out from the house so that she could translate for us,” said Frye, who would give gifts sent by his mother to children at the fence.

Despite the connection, Frye said when he left Bosnia he never expected to see Bajramovic again as he didn’t even know the boy’s last name at the time.

However, Frye began thinking about Bajramovic as he got older, and when he stumbled on the picture of the two of them together, he decided to take action.

Frye managed to get a hold of a Bosnian reporter who agreed to help find Bajramovic.

Thanks to social media, the reporter was able to find him in just five hours, even though he now lived across the continent in Sweden.

Since then, the two men have been talking daily by instant message. Bajramovic is now a father, and is working to get a taxi licence.

A Facebook post Frye made about their reconnection has generated over 1,000 shares and hundreds of comments from around the world.

Frye says both he and Bajramovic have gotten closure out of talking to one another, and he’s heard from people in Bosnia and other conflict zones like Iraq and Afghanistan after the story started going viral.

“The most important thing is this story is symbolic of thousands of relationships that soldiers have made with children in conflict zones,” said Frye.

“The wonderful thing about this story in particular story is that there’s a happy ending to it.”

Frye now hopes he can travel to Bosnia so that he can meet Bajramovic and his sister in person at the same spot where Frye was stationed during the war. Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

City of Red Deer gets ball rolling on annexing more land

”It’s important we look ahead,” says Mayor Veer

Walmart melding online and in-store shopping

South Red Deer Walmart recently underwent six months of renovations

Updated: Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Video: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

OTTAWA — More than one million jobs could be lost to the… Continue reading

McGill research finds significant driving impairment 5 hours after cannabis use

MONTREAL — Driving under the influence of cannabis remains dangerous even five… Continue reading

Family: Remembering the important things

It seems so much of life is work and routine and then… Continue reading

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Most Read