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Published on Jan 30, 2008
'You reckon we're doing any good by being here?'
After his 21st birthday, Bill (John Jarratt) goes to fight in Vietnam, as part of the Australian forces. He's in the Special Air Services, elite professional soldiers who look down on the 'nashos', the conscripted troops. Bill's best mate is the jovial and older Harry (Graham Kennedy), a likeable cynic. The rest include Rogers (Bryan Brown), Dawson (Graeme Blundell), Scott (Ian Gilmour) and later, Bung (John Hargreaves) -- all young men who believe they're fighting for their country.
Their daily life in camp consists of rain, beer, cards and bad food, punctuated by the sporadic excitement and terror of jungle patrols. Their numbers dwindle as their tour progresses, in a series of realistically portrayed skirmishes with the enemy. As the body count rises, Bill counts the days till he can go home, but to what? The welcome home is cold, as Harry predicted.