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Candid Vietnam Vet

28 September 2022

Passionate Year 10 History students congregated in the chapel last Thursday to learn more about the Vietnam War and its impact on Australian society. To help us do this, we were very pleased to welcome veteran and old scholar, Jock Statton OAM who answered a plethora of questions from the boys.

Jock comes in regularly to talk to our classes and never ceases to surprise the boys with his honesty, candour and good humour. He was a “Nasho” who carried out patrols on foot as a forward scout with his platoon and students were fascinated to hear accounts of life at Nui Dat, combat experiences, his thoughts on American troops and the difficulties faced by the Vets once they returned to Australia. One particularly poignant reflection by Jock concerned how well indigenous soldiers were accepted in Vietnam compared with the racial problems clearly evident amongst American troops.

The boys quickly became familiar with Bluey, Whitey, Tubby, Smithy and Simmo - members of Jock’s platoon and their daily grind through the jungles of Phuoc Tuy province. The Viet Cong were described as “very good fighters”, but the reception back home clearly disappointed Jock. One boy summed up the session well “It was also nice to see that after everything that had happened Jock was still able to have a laugh and recall some of the better memories he had throughout the war.” Nic Hinchliffe offered a vote of thanks on behalf of the cohort and mentioned the sacrifices made by Jock over the years.

Ron Pippett
History Coordinator