I kind of miss all the good mates I had.. having served from 1976 and done many 3 month camps all over the place, made some good mates, lost some good mates.. but those were the days. I miss the friendship, the late night chat around a barby (Braai) in the middle of nowhere, getting pissed whenever we were in base, smoking a bit of weed with some good mates, hay that was the army.
I remember one particular night bout 10 klicks (Kilos) inside Angola, we were with a stopper group come reaction force for 31 Battalion in the Caprivi..
We were lying low, had the claymores all around us, and every couple of hours had to stand guard while the rest were snoring their asses off. I needed to relieve myself, and told my mate from Benoni to keep watch while I go and have a leak. Next thing I know a Terr is standing right in front of me… almost shit myself… and my mate, well, he just came flying past me like a bat out of hell and took the guy out.. I was so stunned I didn’t even realise the gook was pointing his AK right in my face..
Yeah, he saved my life that night.. You think you have got all it takes to take anyone on in the middle of the bush when its so dark you can hardly see your hand in front of your face.. It’s not until fear really stares you in the face that you realise how dangerous it really is..
That certainly was the closest I ever came to dying in that war… Had many ters shooting at us, but a flying bullet over your head is nothing like staring death right in the face..
I often wonder what happened to my good mate who saved my life that night.. After our 3 month camp we klared out, and never saw him again. Tried so many times to get hold of him. We called him roach, Dennis Arujo, not sure where he was from, possibly from Portugal.. was a really decent bloke, and I owe my life to him..