On this day – 42 Years Ago "Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon"
If you're Australian, you've probably heard Redgum – I Was Only 19
( A Walk in the Light Green
) ² — What you might not have heard are the details and personal significance of events which feature prominently in the song. Please read, and share the following story.The details
– Within the same day that Apollo 11 mission was successfully landing the first man on the moon, "On Jul 21 (1969) 3 Platoon was involved in an M16 mine
incident near the old deserted village of Hội Mỹ in the Light Green
. The incident resulted in the death of the platoon commander, Lieutenant P.A. Hines, and eighteen (18) soldiers of '3 Platoon' were wounded. Whilst the mine clearing drills and the 'dustoff'
were in progress a second mine was detonated. This resulted in the death of Corporal J. Needs the senior NCO remaining in '3 Platoon' and the wounding of six (6) soldiers including the Commanding Officer and the Regimental Medical Officer, Captain T.R. Anderson, who had flown in (earlier) to assist the evacuation of the wounded." — The history of 6RAR-NZ (ANZAC) Battalion 1967-1970"The Sixth Battalion was the next to tour and it was me who drew the card… God help me, I was only nineteen."My father
– Stanley Robert McKenzie SHEA (1947-2010): Was only 19
when conscripted during the 1967 ballot. He was deployed to Vietnam with 6th Battalion during its tour of 1969 – 6RAR, A Coy, 3 Platoon…
3 Platoon. "Can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep? … why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?"
He was one of the very few fortunate enough, to walk away from that incident physically unscathed — but I'm certain his experiences of the Vietnam War affected him and our family throughout our lives, as he suffered "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"
– another theme evident in the song.³
War not only affects those who experience it directly … War affects everyone.
So whilst many of us perhaps celebrate the major accomplishment of landing the first man on the moon. I'm reminded not only of; this song, my late father, and the pitiful waste of human life that is war; but also how it's long lasting
affects are felt by our veterans and their families. It's definitely played a part in shaping who I am today.
Supporting Veterans and their families – http://www.vvaa.org.au/vvcs.htm
Land Mine Action – http://www.austcare.org.au/LandMines
 – http://www.schumann.com.au/john/lyrics.html
 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Was_Only_Nineteen
 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-traumatic_stress_disorder