Monday, August 13, 2012

Vietnam War: An Australians Perspective

The War Within - Memoir by Donald William Tate

When most people hear “Vietnam” they are conditioned to think of the United States war in Vietnam, unaware that like the current war in Afghanistan, there was a coalition of nations that were involved and not just the United States. 

The War Within by Australian Donald William Tate is his memoir about his life as an Infantryman in the Australian Army and other parts of his life.  The book description is stated as a memoir that is at once dramatic, disturbing, sexually charged, and often very funny, but ultimately a moving portrait of a man who has found the inner strength to overcome…we follow the life of the author as he comes to terms with being a disaffected youth, a patriotic but naive infantryman in the Vietnam War, and an alienated, disabled veteran struggling with male status anxiety-apparently inexhaustible in its capacity to cause suffering. 
Along the way, Tate examines the dark crevices of the male psyche as he battles inner demons and the unconditional love of his beautiful Christian wife, Carole. Above all, this memoir is a celebration of the human condition and of a man with a can-do, cavalier attitude to life and his desire to rise above mediocrity. An outstanding contribution to Australia's rich heritage of memoir.

Don’s memoir also brings to light that the issues of young men who went to Vietnam and other wars is not restricted to one group or nationality, but a common burden shared by all, with similar struggles and stories, and yet still very unique as Don’s memoir demonstrates.

Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial
Don Tate is a retired soldier and high school English teacher. Raised in a rural part of Brisbane, Australia, he went to the Vietnam War as a naive but patriotic infantryman and was badly wounded in action. After years of rehabilitation, he and his wife, Carole, have raised five children in the Shellharbour region of New South Wales, and in 2000, Don received the Australian Sports Medal for services to sport. He is an outspoken advocate for war veterans.

Australia deployed over 60,000 servicemen and women to the conflict in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975. During the course of the Vietnam War, 521 Australians lost their lives. The majority of these were repatriated to Australia for burial and commemoration.  An estimated 3000 were wounded. 


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