Gary Oakley - People on edge

Running time
1 min 42 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Once the soldiers left it was quite, it was really interesting to look at the change in people and the change in men. The new guys we would be taking up, because we would do ship concerts and all that kind of stuff, I mean, amazing talent. Some of these guys, you know, could sing and play the guitar and all that kind of stuff.

Usually they were sort of like, either full time serving soldiers, or they were national service and you really couldn't tell the difference. That's the way they were trained. You really couldn't tell the difference. And there didn't seem to be any animosity between the full timers and the nashos, it was really good. But when you looked at the blokes going up, there was a, when they were leaving the ship and lining up to go into the helicopters to be taken away, you could tell the difference, you look at their faces.

I mean, these guys were just not much older than me and they had that look on their faces, I don't know what we're going into type thing. And then when the helicopter lands and the guys come out of the back of it, they have a totally different, these guys, they're all laughs and smiles because they're getting the hell out of there.

And it was a totally different group of people would pass each other. And the fellas we were taking over there, there was some animosity between NCOs and other ranks. I mean, I can remember walking into an argument in one of the messes and threats of violence, you know, "I’ll bloody shoot, you if you give me a hard time ". But I think that was just people were on edge.

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