Patrick O'Hara - Reflections on being called up

Running time
1 min 18 sec


So I just rolled along when I got called up. I didn't have any particular view, I just rolled along and did national service. The army, it was only two years, but it took me away from my brother. When I was nineteen and he would have been what? Seventeen, I suppose, so it had a bit of a, I suppose, influence in our relationship later on, particularly the fact that he didn't get called up.

My father really opposed Vietnam but because I'd been called up he never said anything. He never let me indicate that. It caused a lot of tension with the extended family. My mother couldn't come and see me off at the Geelong station 'cause she was too upset. So, the whole, that whole process was very traumatic, I think, without being outwardly so, with just the tensions it caused.

My father was a big man of 6 foot one and played AFL. He had been in the army. I was a little scrawny bloke. I never saw myself in a uniform or a rifle. It just wasn't on the horizon in any way shape or form.