My grandfather, Osman Dedic, was born on November 26, 1929 in a small village in Bosnia called Gorne Dubrave. During this time, Bonsia was an undeveloped nation affiliated with Yugoslavia. The village my grandfather lived in was an immense distance away from several major cities and airports. The town did not have a sewage system, and the cement streets were unfinished. Most houses in the village did not have electricity and phone lines. The village also lacked streetlights and a water supply system. Moreover, the villagers were forced to obtain water from a nearby river and pump out the water from an aquifer using a well. The town contained few stores, transportation facilities, and educational institutions. Most stores would sell need-based goods such as clothes, food, and labor equipment. In the village, government control and influence affected many town people.
The government controls the production of crops and the amount of farmland given to the villagers. Unfortunately, the villagers would sell most of their crops for a low price to the government. Villagers did not even have passports and wouldn’t receive the documents because the government wouldn’t allow people to emigrate. Without a passport, one could not get a visa for another country and without visa; one could not find a job. This governmental system forced many people to settle in the same village their entire life. Nevertheless, my grandfather had different opinions.
“I always had my own thoughts and rules on how life should be. For this reason, I encountered many difficulties in my life.” As a young child, my grandfather loved to pursue law and justice. He did not follow the role of an influential leader, but rather treated everyone with respect and equality. When my grandfather was eight years old, he would play with his friends in the playground. One day, however, a child from the neighboring area decided to come over to the playground and take advantage of the other children. My grandfather immediately seized action and resolved the problem by telling the foreign child to play fair and respect everyone. Several years later, my grandfathers choose to serve and protect.
In his eighteenth year, my grandfather decided to join the military army. As a military soldier, he had the duty of war . One day at military camp, he was ordered to dig holes by seniority soldiers. He refused the job and wouldn’t allow his pride fade away his few of the seniority soldiers told him to before him wanted to take over the youngest once, as they called them, by making them obey. They had very high expectations, that where not possible to accomplish. They asked my father to dig out a hole that would be two by two meters and two more meters deep. He had to be done by the end of the night. He started digging till he became very tired and could not even move. They warned him once to start digging again but he refused. One of them came closer and punched him right in face. My father got very angry. He raised the digger and broke it on his shoulder. He kept on hitting him until all the rest of the group gathered up and put my father in circle.
They started hitting him all together. My father, full of blood running from almost every part of his body, barely broke the chain of their bodies and run into the forest where they lost his site. In the general of the army, while calling the names of the soldiers, noticed that Ruben Aslanian was missing. At that time my father was at a corner spying on them. The general asked where he is. Someone from the two-year-served group stretched the truth and when explaining what had happened. The general said that everyone of the two-year-served group would go to prison if they will not find Ruben Aslanian by the end of this day. When my father decided to appear they were all in panic. The general asked where he was. My father, realizing that the future of all those soldiers was in his hands, said that he fall through a crag and lost his consciousness. After that situation he never had a problem in the army again, for the rest of his serving period.
When my father came out of the army, he went to the military school. He was working as a police man while studying to become an interrogator. He was always very just, no matter what the status of the prisoner was. Once he found the nephew of a Georgian minister, with two Moldavians, guilty about a drug deal. He wrote a conviction for all three of them, while they warned him to leave the nephew of the minister out of the deal. After that they let the nephew leave illegally and were searching for a way to put my father in the prison. My father understood that they had launch a was against him and it was time for him to resign.
One year latter, the real war began. During 1995, after the disintegrate of the Soviet Union, Abkhazians asked for their independence for the Georgians. Georgians did not like agree and they tried conquer Abkhazians. All the prisoners were freed and walking on streets armed. They purpose of that was to have a bigger army but criminals never change. Their goal was to revenge the people that put them in the prison and ruined their lives. Unfortunately, one of those people was my own father.
Like a picture in my mind, I still remember the criminal with a mask holding a gun against my father’s head. I remember my father begging them to not do anything in front of his children and my mother trying to pull us away so we would not be witnesses of the murder of out own father. Fortunately, they did not kill my father. I do not now the reason. I still think that it was the God’s will, because otherwise I just can not explain it. The next day, I found myself in a plain flying out of my motherland to be safe.
“I always remember my house, my garden, my neighbors, and every single city of Abkhazia, where I spent a long time of my life. I want to admit that I live much wealthier life now in America, than back in Abkhazia. The point of our life is not about been rich; the point if this life is, in my opinion, is to wake up in the morning and be able to see beloved relatives and friends. This is not only my misfortune; this is the disaster of every human been that, in his or her middle ages, looses his or her surroundings of a life time.”
Courtney from Study Moose
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