Damien Timms - Phoning home

Running time
1 min 48 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Like I said before about, we didn't have social media and we didn't have the communications that we do today and that was evident. We'd have to get the local news sent to us, the Australian news. We even did, and this is back to the Kibeho massacre, we did an Anzac Day video, we were just doing a service around the flagpole and all that. We had to pre-tape it before Anzac Day to send home to say, "Hey this is what the troops are doing in Rwanda". But the reality was the Kibeho massacre had happened and we weren't doing that, even though they aired that later on.

My family did get to see that. But it would cost us about 50 US on a Telecom, not Telstra card. And you would use a sat phone or whatever and plug it in and call. You had to basically pay to call home. And 50 US back in '95, '96 was a lot of money, a lot to be honest. Yeah, you would sort of chew it up. I remember the cards had a picture on the front of it of a Somalia vet and he's holding the hand of a little Somali child on the front of it. They made that for our trip. It sort of shows the ignorance they had of Africa. In fact, I knew the person who was in the picture of the silhouette of him.

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