Expensive shout

DIGGERS serving in Afghanistan will be forced to pay $5 a can if they want to have a beer on Christmas Day. The Defence Department is laying on the cheer by allowing soldiers serving overseas two beers this Christmas – but it’s making them pay, the Northern Territory News reports. One soldier calculates Defence is making a killing. “That works out to be $120 a carton of beer,” the soldier said. Peter Mansell, the Darwin RSL president, said that he personally thought charging for two beers would be “bloody wrong”.
But he also said there was no beer when he was serving about 40 years ago. “We were in the middle of the jungle doing what we had to do,” he said
The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans has Peter Mansell serving with 7RAR in Vietnam in 1970 and whereas it could be true (providing he was a rifleman) that he was often “in the middle of the jungle” it is also true that when he came off patrol he was allowed to consume alcohol….. …at 12 or 15c a can and although there was a legal limit of “2 cans per day perhaps” this generally translated as “enough to get drunk and forget your problems” if you weren’t warned for ambush or patrol duties the next day. I know, I was there Peter. Maybe you should stop suggesting us Vietnam Vets had it tougher than the Afghan boys. Remember how the RSL, some WWII vets and a host of hippies treated us when we came home and don’t fall into the same trap by denigrating their service In their defence, Defence says; … it already does a lot for its soldiers.
It pointed out it provided accommodation, food and welfare services to its deployed troops “at no cost”.
What are they suggesting. That they are nice guys for sending diggers to war and not charging them for accommodation, food and welfare services? Get real!


  • Does anyone know how you would go about kicking in $10 to buy a digger his Xmas beer ration?

    • Another “piss” poor effort by Defence. Why are we surprised by this? These are the same people that expect the diggers to take incoming rounds in the dark and not retaliate. If they expect the blokes to die without a fight, why would they care that they spend Christmas in a foreign country and have to pay twice the price for their “ration” of Xmas cheer.

      The Government wants you to refrain from producing carbon dioxide (for reasons that remain unclear)…..You can do it, but we’ll charge you excessively for the priveledge.

      Now if the diggers want a beer ( which every one knows is not good for you) Defence (another arm of the Govt.) feels free to charge them for the priveledge

      I wonder if the RSL can assist.

      I am actually surprised that the diggers are permitted to celebrate Xmas in a non Christian country…..our school children are denied that right in our own Christian country because it “may” offend people of other faiths.

    • There is talk of VB providing the beer FOC

      • Great PR, even greater advertising and very much appreciated by the diggers. Oh and now defence have decided that they will foot the bill for two cans per man/woman and if they don’t drink then free gophers (2 of). Roo and Emu brought to their knees by a CUB.

  • Could this be a ploy by the diggers to get free piss?

    I was in the Nui Dinh mountains Christmas 1970. Some dickhead shot up the sergeants mess back at the Dat and there was a rumour of dry camp when we were due back a few days later.

    Beer was 20c in my day, even with inflation I think $5 is a ripoff.

    BTW we had a nice company Christmas dinner served by the officers and sncos in mid January 1971 at Vung Tau. We didn’t pay for beer (or food or lodgings)

  • This story sounds like the a classic Christmas media beat-up, together with some good marketing for CUB.
    My recollection is that the grog ration would accumulate creating the potential for massive booze-ups on returning to the Dat after weeks in the scrub. I also have a vague recall of sections tasked for TAORs being banned from the boozer – happened to me once.
    My memories of these occasions tend to be extremely vague…

    • Let me remind you 1735099, you were the one standing at the end of the boozer shaking your head while the other blokes piled empties on the tabletops to see if they could reach the ceiling without toppling the stack. As the only bloke in the place who was “under the weather” your mates wouldn’t let you near the table.

      You’re correct about the accumulated beer ration and at 15 cents a can memories can quickly deteriorate.

      Are you sure you were excluded for TAOR patrol? With your attitude I would have thought more along the lines of CB and duties as company runner as a penalty of some sort.

  • I liked the ” FREE DEPLOYMENT ” you gonna charge me to go to a fucking war. OK, let me keep one round and my rifle when I come back prick…

  • I saw that comment re “no beer in Vietnam” from Mansell, and like every other Digger who served the in VN, I immediately called “Bullshit”.

    Secondly, why is this dunce making it all about him?

    Amenities in VN were pretty good considering the circumstances. I would have like a Four n’Twenty pie, Chicko rolls and cold choc milk, but I don’t complain about all the goodies we did get.

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