This is just a short story about my experience with the waterside workers back in the early seventies.
I am a Vietnam Veteran just like Ralph. I served with 3RAR 1967-68 and was at fire support base Balmoral.
Anyway in the 70s I was after a job and the wharfies opened their books to hire more staff. My father worked on the wharves after being released from 5 years as a POW in Germany, he was a petty officer on board the Africa Star until the ship was sunk by the German raider Kormaran. I went to the wharfies interview and was accepted because of the father and son rule.
Anyway all was good until the bloke asked me what I had been doing for the last 5 years. I told him that I had been in the army and had gone to Vietnam. He tore my application in two and told me to piss off as they don’t hire traitors like me.
The thing that gets me about Ralph is that they hired him, to use him, that is for sure, as Labor openly showed their contempt for all returned soldiers here in WA.
Sorry about the mistakes but my hands are not what they used to be, keep up the good work and all the best to your lovely family.
Cheers John Lawrence ex 3rar Vietnam 67-68.
(I received this note as an email to me, it's published here with John's name with his permission, I've made a few minor edits, nothing that changes context or facts. Imagine how you'd feel if you were treated with that sort of contempt after serving your country.)