Served 2 years.
Worked for Qantas - Skippy Squadron.
Medals and citations: Active Service Medal with the Vietnam clasp, Vietnam Logistics Medal.
Primary job: Steward.
“The way the Vietnam veterans were treated when they returned home was disgusting. Their efforts and sacrifice, so that we didn’t need to experience it ourselves, is something we’ll never be able to truly understand or thank them for”.
- Married for 53 years
- During the Vietnam World War, they asked for volunteers to carry American troops from Vietnam to the Philippines, and transferred the American airborne division. Later on, we formed the Skippy Squadron which was transferring Australian troops to and from Vietnam during the whole Vietnam conflict
- Belong to the Avalon Beach RSL sub-branch and Veterans Centre Sydney Northern Beaches, where I'm an advocate and I've been an advocate for 16 years. As advocates for present and past veterans, our job is to make sure they get the correct compensation that they deserve
Best advice/skill received: Keep your head down, that's good advice.
What was the best and worst 'military' food you were served, and why? Military food was far better than anything I ate at boarding school.
What effect did your military experience have on your life? The experience it gave me in life was to appreciate how lucky I was. When I was looking at young guys either going or returning, returning in a much different frame of mind, it was a jolt to the system - how lucky I was that I didn’t have to be under fire. Their sacrifice was more than I’ll ever be able to thank them for.
Funny recollection during time of service:
We're going into Vietnam under a few tricky situations at one stage. One time we were flying through one hell of a storm, we all had allocated positions to sit for emergencies and that sort of thing onboard an airplane.
The guy I'm sitting alongside asked me a question. The question was "Hey, mate, you wouldn't be a Catholic or something, would you?" And I said, "Well, I am. Why?"
He said, "You must know some prayers, I don't know any, will you say one for me."