FROM NUI DAT TO DISCHARGE By Adrian Taylor
This book is a unique collection of personal stories of the fifty men (and one tracker dog) who served at various times with 4 Platoon, B Company, 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR), in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971. Over a period of twenty years the author, himself a former member of the platoon, contacted nearly every living former member of the platoon and invited them to recount, in their own words, their story. Many contributed, telling us of their backgrounds before they joined the Army (voluntarily or conscripted), experiences in Vietnam, and how they tried to return to a normal life when they came back to Australia.
Some could not contribute because they are no longer alive. Three members who served with the platoon were killed in action in Vietnam, and a number have died since returning. The author has obtained personal accounts from their relatives, many revealing the devastating effect these deaths have had on their grieving families.
In addition, the book provides background information on the history of the battalion, daily life, living conditions, operations, recreation, the local people, and the environment. This information is supplemented with over 550 photographs (many in colour) and copies of documents.
Importantly the book ends with an epilogue by a clinical psychologist about the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder amongst Vietnam Veterans.
Those interested in the personal stories of members of an Australian infantry rifle platoon (before, during, and after their tour of duty) as well as those interested in the history of 7 RAR will find this book very informative.