Geoff Hazel - Threats

Running time
2 min 19 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


There were threats. Every time we went to a different village, you could guarantee, within 48 hours, something would arrive at our base saying, "You return there, and you will be killed." That was one time. It was actually a typed letter, just found on the desk, inside the office. Another time, it was a young kid who came in with a written note.

So different ways of getting to us. And I implemented a policy, the minute there was a threat, the very next day, we would be in that village. Now it could be myself or a patrol or the UN military liaison officers we had with us, which initially it was a Malay Lieutenant Colonel and an Irish major. And they were joined, not long after, by a Russia Naval officer, Erie; top fella.

The three of them were good. Now, on the day after a threat was received, at least two of those three would turn up in that village every day. And then the next day, we would go back again, and a couple of times. And then this was our way of saying, "Well, have a go." But really, what I was expecting was they wouldn't do a thing, and we would put a bit of spirit into the village.

I personally adopted a policy of, I would be out and about and seen as much as I possibly could. So if you want to make a target, and this is a decision I made, personally, and I never told anybody, and it's in the book, if you want to make a target of my people, now you don't want my people. I'm the target.

And often, I would come back and my counterpart, who I got to know and we became friends; let's be honest, we were friends, he would abuse me and carry on because, "You've been out without your escort again," because he had Tommy. He said, "Never go without an escort." Well, sometimes I did. I had to. But I had one where I was out with the escort, where we were fired at. And there were all sorts of little things all the way through…

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