During that time we went on our first family holiday to Exmouth. After about seven hours of driving I knew the Wiggles entire discography by heart and the children were starting to disappear beneath a drift of muesli bar wrappers and empty juice boxes. We stopped at the Overlander Roadhouse and as I was walking the kids to the toilets I noticed a man sitting, eating a hamburger in a white Subaru and on the window of his car a small sticker that read AATTV (Australian Army Training Team Vietnam). On the way back to the car I tapped on his window and introduced myself.
He was happy to talk about his experiences in Vietnam and we stood in the car park and the kids played on this scratchy little patch of grass while road trains tore down the highway. He'd done two tours of duty, the second had been worse because he'd been married by then and leaving had been harder. He told me about his experiences with Post Traumatic Stress. About ten years after his last tour things had got pretty bad and he'd decided he was going to blow up his boss. He'd worked out a way to disable the locking mechanism in his boss's car and was just working out how much chlorine he was going to need for the bomb when his wife discovered what he'd been doing and he was committed. He coughed and said that there were years when things had been hard, really hard.