February 1968. The TET Offensive.
A chopper medevac that's a race to save a Vietnamese girl's life, exploding flags that shoot down helicopters, a "Bilko"-like sergeant who smuggles bar girls into an American field hospital for the pleasure of wounded marines, a one eyed Quartermaster who talks like a pirate, an Australian soldier who's accidentally awarded the Purple Heart and a paranoid staff officer who thinks he's Napoleon re-incarnated, make up just some of the characters and events in this true story.
Second lieutenant "Ned" Kelly wants nothing to do with the Vietnam War. A reluctant draftee who figures becoming an officer is a ticket to a comfortable existence, after attending a "180 day wonder" course, he finds himself posted to Vietnam as the operations officer of a fledgling army aviation recon squadron. The problem is he's hopelessly out of his depth.
But to his surprise he finds he's not alone, aviation is new to the Australian army and no one else does either. He quickly learns that his civil experience as an advertising copy writer gives him the perfect background for dealing with the HQ bureaucracy and the hoards of REMFS who wants to run the war to a budget by saving bullets and denying everyone the equipment needed to do their job. To get round this problem he finds all he needs to do is feed them B/S, a talent young Ned is well skilled at.
But he didn't count on the psychotic "Captain Queeg" - an officer who stepped right off the movie screen and who insists everything be done by the book
Then to add to his misery along comes the TET Offensive and the real war begins...
Drafted in 1965, now more than forty five years after he returned from the Vietnam War, the author reveals events during his tour of duty with the Australian Army. Told from the perspectives of others as well as his own, this is a sometimes tragic - often frustrating, but consistently humorous and cleverly crafted narrative about how it was for a group of young men who really didn't want to be there.