Damien Timms - A dark sense of humour

Running time
1 min 39 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


But when we got over there, I just remember one of my good friends that I'd gone through training with. And to relate to some of the movies that talk about the thousand-yard stare, these people I could see were just fatigued, mentally fatigued more than anything. And they just appeared like a shell of what they were. They had this sort of dark sense of humour about them. I mean some of the things were quite funny. They certainly greeted us, and stories that you hear about Australian troops all the way through history.

They had a whole collection of books. We didn't realise until months later what they had done, which was they ripped out the last pages out of every single book. So as you read through them for the few months, you go, ugh, and it had something like, love from Alpha Company at the back of it. So every book was like that. They had taken the time to go through hundreds of books and rip the last pages out. And they had big giant signs and that saying welcome to Rwanda and had the amount of days there. And 'Smoke those Embassy Blues', which are like the cigarettes that are local, and quite harsh. I mean all cigarettes are obviously we know today are quite bad for you. But I think these ones were even worse. But they had big signs like that.

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