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 saidThe 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!