Contract to make boots for Diggers goes to Indonesia to save $400,000
A bit of reading on the US RICO Act and other trade union related legislation

What was gained from the Daily Telegraph's "story" about Nui Dat today?

Last night was a bit hard for me because of the anniversary of lost mates and the fact that every year it gets harder.

A couple of blokes who know the signs got in touch, just to be there as good mates.   One ex copper with his "big fishy lolly" story made me laugh out loud (thanks JD) and the other a former soldier with A Coy 2RAR on the battalion's 67/68 SVN tour.

The soldier with a heart was Ralph Blewitt.   We had a good yarn about hard things you have to do in certain jobs like the coppers and the army and we left it at that for the night.

I can't tell you what a shock it was to pick up this morning's copy of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney and see the front page dedicated to a "story" allegedly recounting an "atrocity" conducted by Ralph's unit in Nui Dat.   I fail to see anything newsworthy in the story, let alone front page and two page internal spread newsworthy.   The story casts doubt on the integrity of Australian soldiers.   The journalist or the editor Paul Whittaker weren't there and blokes I know who were say the story is bullshit.

I spoke with Ralph early this morning.  The little Vietnamese kid in western clothes in the story was known as Smiley or Smokey to the boys in the battalion.   A horrible thing happened to that little boy at the hands of the VC and an Aussie digger took his little body down from the wire outside the lines at Nui Dat.   He was wearing hand-me-down clothes sent from an Aussie family of one of the digs.

I know the signs of PTSD and so I spent this morning at a specialist facility talking about things with people like Mr N the fire and rescue bloke who found out for himself how much he could take.

When I arrived home, I received this note from Ralph Blewitt.

GOM said:
OFF TOPIC Michael but if you don't mind. The Story in today's Daily Telegraph about the massacre at Nui Dat in Vietnam in 1967 . The chatter on the RAR Brotherhood sites and other military FB sites is that this is bullshit and never happened. It is said that this was A Coy 2nd Plt 2 RAR in 1967. I was A Coy 1st Plt 2 RAR 1967 our tents where in the same lines at the Australian Task force base at Nui Dat we where along side the 2nd Plt FFS if this happened I cannot imagine anyway we would not have heard about it we eat slept and drank together. We patrolled together we fought alongside one another. There have been numerous comments already today from Brothers of mine that where there at the same time as myself and not one of us has any knowledge of this ever happening. In fact the question doing the rounds now is what did the Daily Telegraph pay for this story or does this bloke have a book a about to be published and is seeking publicity for it's release. I served under Major White our company commander and he was an excellent Company commander. For Ben Morris to make allegations like "Major White wanted the company's success rating improved by boosting the body count of enemy soldiers" I find disgusting and a slur on reputation a fine leader of men our CO Major White. PS: Michael that's smokey in the photo and I'd rather not talk about it it's tearing me apart seeing that picture mate.
Then Ralph and I had this chat.

Ralph just sent me this follow up.

GOM said:
I might add to what I said before about the story in the Daily Telegraph today. On reading it again Ben Morris the Plt commander who wrote this story needs to think about some of things he said and the picture published with the story He says one of the Vietnamese waved a stick at them Question for you Ben how good was your ambush set if the enemy could see you to wave at you. A bank of claymores (mines)the picture show in the story and the set up of this so called ambush is in no way we where taught to set an ambush like this is it a triangular ambush or a go anywhere you want ambush. If an officer laid out an ambush like this and initiated it he should be charged with dereliction of duty. And why are faces of the 7 RAR Soldiers in the photo blacked out this photo is on public display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Thank you for your service men.