Why the battle comes after the war

By Rebecca Fraser
CASEY residents have been invited to come and listen to the memoirs of a Vietnam veteran who triumphed over the demons of war after a long psychological battle.
On Saturday, 27 May author of ‘Well Done Those Men’, Barry Heard, will visit the Endeavour Hills Library to give an honest account of his journey and life after Vietnam.
Mr Heard, of Bairnsdale, was conscripted to the war in the first national ballot and served in Vietnam as an infantryman and radio operator.
After returning home he struggled to settle back into life and had 10 different jobs in 10 years, before working for some time as a teacher.
Mr Heard suffered a devastating breakdown due to severe post-traumatic stress disorder and began writing about his experience and “purging a few demons”.
The 61-year-old said he had never wanted to publish the book but was urged by academics to put it on the shelves and since then the response had been mind-blowing.
The book, which was released in April last year, is now in its third printing and he has received 1700 letters from veterans about it, most claiming a total mirror of his story.
Mr Heard said many wives and children had contacted him as well and he had received letters from war widows, more than 20 letters form Vietnam War protesters and has had close to 10,000 phone calls, letters, emails and cards about the book.
The novel is now set to be placed on the Victorian education curriculum for english and history and Mr Heard said he was looking forward to visiting Endeavour Hills to discuss the book and the history surrounding it.
The free event has been organised as part of Australian Library and Information Week and runs from 2 to 3pm.
Bookings are essential and can be made through the Endeavour Hills Library on 9700 7177.

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