BUDDIES: Turkey Beach Vietnam veteran Kevin McGinley and his dog Spud with army, navy and airforce insignia on jacket.
BUDDIES: Turkey Beach Vietnam veteran Kevin McGinley and his dog Spud with army, navy and airforce insignia on jacket. Allen Winter

No welcome one of most hurtful memories for Vietnam vet

FOR Turkey Beach Vietnam veteran Kevin McGinley, wartime brings back some sad memories.

Mr McGinley was a ground crew radio operator with the Second Bomber Squadron which was attached to the US Air Force base at Phan Rang.

He said Phan Rang base suffered one of the most rocket attacks in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969.

"That sort of thing plays on your mind - not just at the time, but for years afterwards. It wasn't pleasant stuff," he said.

"There were no winners in that war - just a huge amount of heartache afterwards.

"A lot of vets had a lot of problems - divorces, separations. It'll be there for ever but we're coping.

He said it wasn't until 25 to 30 years later that it was realised that things weren't right.

"But these days Veterans Affairs can't do enough for us."

However, coming back to Australia to no welcome still remains one of his major disappointments.

"I came home on a Hercules to Richmond Air Base and I had to find my own way home.

"I ordered a taxi truck. That was our welcome home."

These days Mr McGinley enjoys life in Turkey Beach, along with a few other Vietnam veteran buddies, and his special dog, Spud, whose jacket shows insignia from the army, navy and air force.



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