Bachelor Vilém Kodíček

* 1959

  • “My dad was a career soldier. He was an Air Force officer serving in the army barracks in Smíchov, at the so-called ‘tank’ (Ed.: today’s Palace of Justice). I remember that in 1968, when I was almost nine years old, the occupation troops arrived and the Czechoslovak soldiers were locked in the barracks and were not allowed to leave. Probably after about two weeks or so, my mom managed to get some civilian clothes to him, in which my dad slipped out of the barracks. He carried his personal gun slung over his neck. We were glad to get him home.”

  • “I don’t recall the exact date, but it was some time before Christmas (ed.: 1980). For two weeks, we were on alert, waiting dressed in our camo suits. In fact, we were only allowed to occasionally take off our boots. The vehicles at our disposal were of the type: BMP-1, OT-62 TOPAS, OT-65 ‘Fugina’ and others, all of it packed with live ammunition. We were ready to go at the blow of a whistle.”

  • “The whole trip (the “Krkonoše 1980” exercise) lasted for about a week. We set out for the night and drove only at night. The first night ride was fine. But on the second night, there were already problems. Some of the drivers of the ‘BVPs’ were beginning to fall asleep. For example, one drove his vehicle into a ditch and the second, who followed his tail lights, rear ended him. In the morning, we usually parked at some barracks, I’d have a hard time recalling all the towns that we passed through. However, we ended up in Pardubice. There, we were handed out fresh shirts, boots, pants... Everything that we needed to feel that we had the very best equipment available. In Pardubice, we also learned that we wouldn’t be sent to Poland. There had been reports about the Austrians and Germans moving their troops towards our borders, so had to return. The return trip was trouble free. On the way back, we could see how much military equipment was actually deployed into action. We could judge this from all the military vehicles that had been left scattered on the roadsides. Many vehicles had bogged down in a ditch and it was necessary to deploy recovery equipment, so that they could be towed. During these ensuing rescue operations, even the professional soldiers were much more humble, knowing that all the vehicles were crammed with live ammunition. They were aware that even a trivial traffic accident might lead to great disaster. A few days after we had returned, Christmas came and we were are all relieved that we stayed at home.”

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    Praha, 05.10.2015

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When you manage to crank up someone’s heart, bring him back to life, you completely change your outlook on life.

Vilém Kodíček, 1980
Vilém Kodíček, 1980
photo: Vilém Kodíček

Vilém Kodíček was born on December 4, 1959, in Prague. In the spring of 1980, he was called up for compulsory military service and in December he participated as an ambulance driver of a reconnaissance battalion (ECS 3281) of the 9th Tank Regiment in the exercise Krkonoše 1980. In 1982 he returned to civilian life and got a job at a transport company in Prague. After the Revolution, he shortly became an entrepreneur. In 1995 he joined the municipal police. For his rescue act, he was decorated by the Lord Mayor of the City of Prague in March 2002. In the same year he started working as an ambulance driver. Since 2007, he has been working as a teacher and since 2011 he has been the deputy director at a technical secondary school in Prague 4.