The good and bad of Viet­namWar

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S -

WITH THIS RING: Ngoc Bui and David Roach were mar­ried by Pas­tor Paul Dare in Bi­cen­ten­nial Park, Mun­dub­bera. David, a Viet­nam vet­eran chose to be mar­ried near this pine tree grown from a seedling brought back from Lone Pine, Gal­lipoli. deeper into the jun­gle or would want to get into a bet­ter po­si­tion to see the land­scape,” he said.

“I didn’t re­ally see much point my­self but it gave me a job to wind up all the com­mu­ni­ca­tions ca­bles and then run them all out again to the com­mand post.”

Born in Lon­greach in 1948, David says he was a typ­i­cal coun­try kid who never had a care in the world.

In 1969 David left town and headed to Mel­bourne to do his Na­tional Ser­vice.

“The guys who were train­ing us were of­fi­cers who had been into battle in Viet­nam and they were some of the most se­ri­ous peo­ple I had ever met,” he said.

“I have never been scared of any­thing in my life and com­ing from the bush I had to put on a bit of front.

“In Ca­nun­gra we had to go on guard duty the same as we would in the jun­gles of Viet­nam and the time came for me to stand on the line.

“No-one told me about the bandi­coots that run about the place at night, but I tell you ev­ery­one knew about them when one of the lit­tle bug­gers jumped me.

“I let out a yell that would have wo­ken up the dead.”

Since the war, David has re­turned sev­eral times to Viet­nam and looked for an or­phan­age that the sol­ders used to sup­ply with food and toys for the kids.

“I found my­self re­turn­ing to a place that I al­ways felt com­fort­able in,” he said.

“I found my­self in love with a woman who came to Mun­dub­bera and mar­ried me.”

David had one other tale to tell about his ser­vice dur­ing the war and it in­volved an Amer­i­can ser­vice club that was off lim­its to all Aus­tralians.

“A cou­ple of mates and I wanted to go to the Yan­kee club for a night out so we got dressed up in our civil­ian clothes and off we went.

“Went right up to the door and with fake Amer­i­can ac­cents we got in and went straight up to the bar and got stuck into a few drinks.

“Well the band stopped play­ing and they dis­ap­peared out the back so my mates and I went up to the band stand and started play­ing,” David said.

“The song, ‘We are a Pack of Bas­tards’ gave us away and we were re­moved by the MPs.”

PHOTO: SUE HAR­RIS

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