“Vietnam was tough. Most of us were young. We were in a foreign country fighting for a way of life we had barely experienced ourselves. Though the Vietnam War officially ended in 1975, there has been no end to the war for me …”
My Vietnam is Dave Morgan’s story. A typical 20 year old, he was forced into extraordinary circumstances in Vietnam.
Far from his carefree youth, the Vietnam War would expose Dave to an atmosphere of ever-present danger and sheer terror that would impact him forever. His return to a divided Australia would isolate him further.
During his service Dave wrote home to his mother from Vietnam tracking the days and the events. In 1992, after his mother passed away, he found all of his letters carefully numbered and in order. He has combined these letters with his own recollections and diary entries, and the short stories of seven other veterans, to capture the unbelievable danger andhorror that these young men experienced in Vietnam.
Dave also describes how Vietnam established life-long feelings of intense loyalty, trust and mateship between the men that served there. Dave’s story focuses on his time as a soldier and his return psychologically exhausted to a divided nation.
After Vietnam and the freedom of ‘home’, Dave tried to live a normal life, however the horror he’d experienced caught up with him. The pressure was immense. Eventually, something had to give. It wasn’t ever a matter of if, but when you would crack. The impact of Vietnam on his life has been, and continues to be, immeasurable.
‘Vietnam picked off the vulnerable like a hungry predator.’ Many of those who go to war and survive are scarred forever. My Vietnam is the biography – a coming of age story – of a self confessed ordinary bloke who has lead anything but an ordinary life.
“Dave’s determination that ordinary Australians from all walks of life should understand the trauma of PTSD is not only the mark of true courage; it is a crucial step in our understanding of what is a national issue. We need more Dave Morgan’s and we need to listen to them and care for them — that right at the very least they have well and truly earned.” – Denny Neave