Australia Melbourne (6)

>> So I was in Brownville, and I was a lieutenant, first lieutenant, with the Third Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in the Korean War. I had my full 12-back then, and 3 days waiting for an airplane back, 3 days was ... and I served in the Citizen Forces for some years after that. I was a company commander, and what else would you like? >> Some of the duties that you had in Korea. >> Well, they used to say it was a Ten Commandments war. We were out there doing patrols nearly every night and making sure that the opposition didn't get too close to us, and if he did, then he scared and bothered because we sorted him out. And very growing up time because I was only 22, and a lot of my sorties had been in the Second World War, and they were 30 years old, and so it was a swift learning curve for a young lieutenant, to have all those older men with the experience, and I was a reinforcement officer. I went up and replaced an officer who'd been killed, and it was a good place to come back from but a wonderful experience, great experience growing up. >> I know you're very ... You have a photographic memory you said. >> I can't hear you. >> You have a photographic memory, you said. >> Yes. >> And you ... I know you can read beyond just the surface. What do you remember about this war? >> Well, I was very thankful that we had air supremacy. We didn't have to worry about air, but I can very vividly remember night patrols and being in positions where we were heavily mortared and shelled by the enemy. I vividly remember them, as I imagine everybody would remember, but maybe, you know, position of trust and responsibility to our troops was rather humbling actually, so I had a lot of work to do there, quite a lot of work to do. Try and save their lives was maybe ... >> This war never ended, you know, and some of the people from all over the world sacrificed their lives and they died, even on the other side, and there's no peace, and there's no reconciliation. >> Do you know? I have a theory that I've never mentioned. You know, for years, on the continent, the Balkans have always been kept neutral so that other countries could move through there. Now I think that suits the Japan ... or the Chinese and Russians to have top of Korea and the Americans, it suits them to have the bottom because if the Chinese had the lot, then the Russians had us jumping for to go into Japan and America. If America had the lot or was [INAUDIBLE], they could jump onto China and Russia. Well, it's never mentioned, and they say, "Oh, we'll have to unite," and the Korean people would love it. I think it suits both of those people to have them separate. Have you ever heard that. >> No, but I'd listen to ... >> That's by Mark [INAUDIBLE]. >> Are you retired as an Army chaplain, right? >> I never was an Army chaplain. I had retired from the Army at the age of 16, and I was in the civi industry, and I suddenly found and studied theology, so I spent 8 years studying at the theology college part-time because I was in shipping. And during that time, the Victorian Council and the churches put me on the Board of Industrial Mission, and I was so impressed with them, I don't have the words here, that when I graduated, I became one of their chaplains from the understanding that I didn't run a managerial job. I wanted to be out helping people, so I had 28 years of that. Now I'm bordering on [INAUDIBLE]. >> And you've seen many veterans pass away? >> I've buried a lot of them. Yeah. >> I'm so glad to be here, and I'm so glad that you brought up, you know, Moroccan solution and the enemy and just the lives, you know, because I truly believe that every life is precious before God, and, you know, that we don't choose. We really don't choose who to fight, you know? And ... >> It's a very complex world, and the best one can do is ... My father was told, when he was 5, by his mother ... She was a very clever woman. She said ... although she said other children, she said, "When you grow up, men throughout the world will listen to what you say with regard to your profession. Never, even espouse any cause or sign any document that your conscience isn't fully at ease," and that's how I was brought up. >> I believe that. Kind of like earlier I said, "God, I'm only going to do what my heart tells me to do." >> Yes. That's the game. >> I thank you so much for ... >> It helps you to sleep a lot better than ... >> Oh, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. I do feel that, you know, even if I can wake up, even if I could foregone, I could say, "God, I did I my best. I really did." >> Mm-hmm. >> You know? And thank you for the greatest compliment I've ever received in my life. Without a doubt, I will take with me ... >> And coupled with that, after all, is that you're an exceptionally beautiful woman. >> Thank you. >> So it's, very, very great [INAUDIBLE] to find a beautiful combination. >> Thank you. >> I'm really a better man for having met you and your philosophy. >> Thank you. I pray and hope and dedicate my life so that ... >> And what will happen when you get back? How are you going to use this travel? I won't bore you with certain occasions when it's amazing I wasn't killed and various times, and I believe that I was being saved to do the work I'm doing today. >> I believe so too. >> I think so. >> I know so. >> Yeah? >> And because you've had many near-death experiences, you can empathize, and you know and understand things that other people can't, and it's an honor to point where I'm grateful that I also experienced a near-death experience and pain because even though I was very young, I'm able to kind of see the invisible pain that many people are experiencing, whether physical, emotional or psychological, and again, you know, one of my great passions is to visit my grandpas and let them know that ... Because many of them, like I've said, they have nightmares, they said. You know? Remembering the war, and I say, "You know, the war is atrocious, and it's ugly and horrific, but out of that bleakness sometimes you can find roses." And here I am. I can represent some good that came out of the war, so ... >> Indeed. And I just cannot believe, having traveled a lot, how a country which was bereft of trees, the Japanese most of all, which a mud heap, in 63 years ... as I said, the people flying over in time [INAUDIBLE] makes Sydney and Melbourne look like villages ... >> I know. >> And each time ... I've been back six times. Each time there's been so many more improvements, and I remember going around, and they've spent ages, everyone, putting trees around everywhere. And I went to show ... I was sent over to take some students there and then on to Gallipoli, and I was going to show them where the Battle of Kapyong took place. >> Mm. >> And that was not possible because instead of being able to see two miles down the road, I couldn't see more than 20 yards through all the trees they'd put in. >> You know, it's remarkable, and thanks to your contributions. >> From here to the end of the table and that round, when I was at Kapyong in 1995, they'd just trimmed some of the trees. >> Mm. >> And I got the branch off a ginko biloba on the B Company position, the Three Battalion at the Battle of Kapyong, and I have that at home. >> Wow. >> And I'm going to give it to Three Battalion one day. >> Wow. >> Yeah.

Memorial

Melbourne - Australia

Melbourne VIC, Australia