Book Review: In The Footsteps of Roadrunners (D Coy 4 RAR In Vietnam)
A book of first-hand accounts from the Vietnam War and beyond by Bob Meehan OAM.
This book is an engaging slice of Australia’s military history told by a man who was there, along with some of the men he served alongside.
It has an honest and engaging narrative that triggers both laughter and tears with recollections that range from the mischief of Diggers at work rest and play, to the deeply sobering realities of comrades killed or wounded in action.
Bob Meehan’s plain-speaking style is also supported by many other contributors that bring a diverse cross-section of roles and ranks within not only 4 RAR, but also other units. This diversity offers rich perspectives on military life in the Vietnam War.
Sections of this book will make you feel as if you are right there alongside these young Diggers from their conscription as teenagers, through the terrors of jungle warfare, and then their attempts to reintegrate into normal life in less than welcoming societal conditions.
As the colourful personalities of those involved in these stories comes to life, there are also valuable lessons for those interested in human behaviour and leadership. Soldiers plainly recount their own feelings and experiences and often make fascinating commentary on the leadership characteristics of their NCO s and Officers. To the careful reader, these accounts will permit them to draw their own conclusions on some of the key players and their leadership styles.
Treasured personal accounts are supplemented with useful military and political background to give broader context to the experiences being retold. As a bonus, the end of the book features some compelling tales about ‘going back’ and meeting former VC and NVA foes, and the healing process of post war reunions.
This is a book very much about the human dimension of war.
It should serve as a treasured account of Australian soldiers proudly living up to the traditions of their forebears, and also setting the bar high for those destined to follow on.
This was a great read.
Lest We Forget.
507 pages, big font, plenty of great original images from Bob and his fellow soldiers (many not previously published).
It can be purchased direct from the publisher by clicking HERE