Some of my duties in Vietnam involved being on picket all night, two hours on, two hours off, placing and retrieving claymore mines and moving out and clearing patrols. As rifleman, an ordinary day involved patrolling with a full kit, keeping in touch with platoon members and maintaining vigilance. The machine gunner was the main fire power for the platoon, carrying the machine gun and a spare bandolier, and keeping close to the No. 2 on the gun. We also carried five days’ rations, spare socks and boots. We were often thirsty. We patrolled by compass bearing. It was bloody hot and we stayed 110 per cent alert, 24 hours a day. Choppers were always welcome, for resupply, protection, casualty evacuation, hot extracts and transport to and from the operational theatre. A welcome sound and sight for all diggers!