Redeeming the Warrior: Myth-making and Australia's Vietnam Veterans
Version of Record online: 10 JUN 2014
© 2014 The Author. Australian Journal of Politics and History © 2002 School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, School of Political Science and International Studies, The University of Queensland and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 60, Issue 2, pages 214–228, June 2014
How to Cite
Dixon, C. (2014), Redeeming the Warrior: Myth-making and Australia's Vietnam Veterans. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 60: 214–228. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12055
- Issue online: 10 JUN 2014
- Version of Record online: 10 JUN 2014
In late 1960s a powerful myth developed in the United States that Vietnam veterans were spat on when they returned home. A parallel myth survives in Australia with widespread claims that paint or even blood was routinely thrown at returning soldiers. In a 1966 incident, red paint was thrown on Lieutenant Colonel Alex V. Preece as he led the First Battalion through Sydney. The Australian myth remains central to perceptions of Australian Vietnam veterans as despised outsiders and feeds into contemporary demands that Australians support their soldiers and the wars in which they are involved. This paper explores connections between cultural politics in the Unites States and Australia, particularly as they pertain to the contentious legacies of the 1960s.