Phil Rogers | 71 | Australian Army

Phil Rogers | 71 | Australian Army

Served 2 years.

Private, Infantry Soldier.

Postings: Vietnam.

Primary job: To get the groundwork done.

“I didn’t speak about my role in Vietnam until 5 years ago, when I went to my grandson’s school and the children started asking me questions. Then one child asked me ‘do I feel proud?’ I'm very proud that I conducted myself in the manner that I did, that I supported my mates, and that I survived; and now I have a wonderful family, children and grandchildren. It was the first time anyone had asked me that - it was quite moving.”

Best advice/skill received: Rest when you can, because you don't know what's going to happen next.

What do you want people to remember about your service? We did our duty, and as I say, never, never again denigrate our soldiers.

What was the best and worst 'military' food you were served, and why? During our training, rations were from WW2 and stamped 1945. I wouldn’t eat the 1945 rations, they tasted like dog food.

What effect did your military experience have on your life? To quote Charles Dickens ‘It was the best of times and the worst of times.’ It was horrific, but the band of brothers in the matrix is something that you will never ever forget. And it's also important for my generation and younger to understand the impacts that we can have on each other.

Funny recollection during time of service:

I was sent to a psychiatrist because I didn't like the army food. He thought it was a scam in that I was always trying to get out of National Service. But I just didn't like the food.

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