David J. McDowell

A Vietnam Veteran, David served in 101 Field Battery, 1 Field Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery, as a Forward Observer Signaller attached to ‘W’ (Whiskey) Company 6 Royal Australian Regiment (ANZAC) Battalion and also as a Command Post Signaller.


His trousers blue, with a stripe of red
A white lanyard through his epaulette
He kneels at the gun to hear the call
As mist at the target fades like a pall
They remember the time at Long Dien
The enemy fell from blasts by the ten
Like trudging along paddy lines
To the celebrations, riots, and better times
As they marched down the street
The echo of feet, to a drum beat.
Now all has been left, dissenters rotten
Only the chosen are glad, and never forgotten
The target is clear, the order to fire
As the gleam on their medals will never tire.

Author’s Note: During downtime I wrote many letters home with the thought that my letters would be answered. On one particular occasion I wrote this sonnet.