Helen Taplin
Civilian Nurse
Bien Hoa
Oct 1969 - Apr 1970
Excerpt from Story Board
Thinking of my team members, there’s not many of us who had children; many have suffered dreadful illnesses, including cancers. I have colon cancer, though there’s no history in my family. Monty, a brilliant nurse, went on two tours. In 1983 she was very ill with cancer and she said to me: ‘Keep fighting, we should have some recognition.’ They had not acknowledged us because they say we were not under the Defence Force. I started writing letters to the government, trying to get some acknowledgement that we were Vietnam vets. We felt it was time that we were recognised. You’ve just got to keep fighting. And I will.

I am so honoured I went. So pleased I had the opportunity to go and see for myself what war is like. I just hope that, possibly, I gave them a little bit back. The Vietnamese are the most wonderful people. They’d give you anything when they had nothing.