I met them in the Officers' Club. Although, because of its state of disrepair, it could hardly be called a club; the week prior it had taken a hit from a wayward rocket meant for the airfield.
My shyness did not keep our distant but similar worlds apart. I was immediately attracted to their boisterous gregariousness and broad smiles. They were rogue warriors, SAS (Strategic Air Service) from Australia, and were considered to be the best of the best. The Viet Cong called them Ma Rung, (phantoms of the jungle). I thought it strange that they were not ten feet tall.
"Hey mate, buy you a beer?" Well, that's all it took to ferment the camaraderie of the brotherhood of war. I sang "Waltzing Matilda" into the wee hours of the morning and they sang "Sweet Judy Blue Eyes" till dawn. As we said our good-byes, the Aussies shouted, "Mate, if you get back to Phuoc Tuy, come say hello and have a spot of tea." I thought it strange that they would invite me to have tea especially after a night of beer and debauchery.