Extract from interview with Claire Hall, 10 August 2008
Reproduced with permission of Ray Beatson
Victor Company Platoon Commander Ray (Red) Beatson likens his selection for Vietnam to ‘being selected for the All Blacks.’ Here Beatson describes his feelings about being chosen to go, and his wife’s reaction to news of his posting.
The politics didn’t come into it, I don’t think so. We'd signed on the dotted line, accepted the Queen's shilling or whatever, you know, and we had a job to do, we'd get out and give it our best shot. That was from the professional point of view. Personally I guess, you know, Linne had only just got up there and our relationship was ticking along nicely and it crossed my mind that maybe I wouldn’t come back, but no ….
Was she supportive?
Um [pause] I guess. [long pause] …. I don't really know, we never really discussed it, you know and I know subsequently she'd said something like, people said to her ‘You're marrying an army officer, you know what you’re getting yourself in for’, and she'd met quite a few other army wives and that, but having said that you don't really know what you’re getting into. Separations, running homes and families by yourself and things like that. But I think that professionally, she supported what my job was.
Vietnam War Oral History Project, Manatu Taonga Ministry for Culture & Heritage