BOOK REVIEW by Gordon Traill - Iraq Veteran

A Pogo’s Perspective by Greg Smith is a non-combatant soldier’s Viet Nam experience: its affect and aftermath.

Greg Smith served as the Orderly Room Corporal in A Sqn, 3 Cav Regt in Viet Nam 1970/71. He has written a book of his experiences and how it affected him. He enlightens the reader how all who served, including Pogo’s (Personnel On Garrison Operations), were affected simply in varying degrees. He speaks of the additional burden of guilt that Pogos experienced by not being able to physically support their mates. He walks the reader through his call-up, training and discipline. He then details his role and experiences as a Pogo, which may be an eye opener for some.

For 35 years he worried about acceptance by his mates because of his different role. This was all swept away in a heartbeat at a Melbourne reunion. He now wears the Pogo tag with pride. In a direct quote for his book Smith says; “To every Pogo, be exceptionally proud of the excellent job that you did. Without that administrative support the combatant roles could not have proceeded. Do not be afraid to stand up and be counted as a Pogo; you will be surprised how many of your mates will thank you for a job well done. Be proud to have served, be proud to have been a Pogo.” He writes of his lack of support and understanding on his return to a hostile Australia.

You will share his highs and lows. You will laugh and rekindle the good and not so good times with Smith. With absolute honesty, he details his emotional decline and the subsequent recognition/diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Finally he shares the treatment that has benefited him and that what is available to all veterans. This is a book for all veterans, their partners, families and it will provide a better understanding of PTSD.

Greg Smith has offered to donate a substantial proportion of the profit to APPVA for the benefit of APPVA members.

Those members wishing to order a book should contact:

The Editor
PO Box 552
Vic 3228