In “Down From the Mountain,” Brian Vickery shares how being conscripted into the Australian Army changed his life and enabled him to achieve more than he ever thought possible
KINGSCLIFF, New South Wales, Oct. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In his new memoir, “Down From the Mountain: The Path of a Baby Boomer,” author and retired lieutenant colonel of the Australian Army Brian Vickery chronicles how both his life and the lives of the men that came before him were shaped by military service. Drawing from the stories of his father and uncles who served in World War II as well as his own experience as a Vietnam War draftee, Vickery offers earnest and, at times, humorous insight into the sacrifices he and his family made for Australia over the span of several decades.
Vickery originally began writing “Down From the Mountain” to preserve his father and uncles’ history. As the book progressed, he saw a connection between their service and his own. Ordinary people caught up in two different wars, the men were linked by their diligence, determination, and courage—qualities that, while learned on the battlefield, would follow them through the rest of their lives. Even deeper, however, was their unspoken bond, the one that all soldiers who have witnessed the realities of the front line share.
Despite growing up around World War II veterans, Vickery was not keen on enlisting in the Australian Army. His path was determined for him when he was conscripted during the Vietnam War, where he served a 13-month tour with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment. Afterwards, he continued to climb the ranks and served two years in the Northern Territory, a year in Hong Kong and a year in Brunei with the Brigade of Gurkhas. At the end of his military career, he had given 23 years to his country, retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel and found a sense of purpose and achievement.
While “Down From the Mountain” spans decades of military history, it’s also a testimony to life as a baby boomer. Wedged between two major wars with an uncertain future, Vickery found his footing and led an extraordinary yet fulfilling life. Ultimately, he hopes readers of all ages understand that life is not simple and straightforward rather it is unpredictable, requiring participants to make adjustments and take responsibility for their own course.
“Serving in the Australian Army was not my intended course, but I’ve learned it was the reason I followed a certain trajectory in life, one full of triumph and failure,” said Vickery. “Through sharing my story, I hope readers of all ages will see that it’s important to preserve oneself through difficulties, value educational experiences and take advantages of the opportunities that present themselves.”
“Down From the Mountain: The Path of a Baby Boomer”
By Brian Vickery
ISBN: 9781984506535 (softcover); 9781984506528 (hardcover); 9781984506511 (electronic)
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris
About the author
Brian Vickery was born in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, and grew up on his parents’ banana plantation on the eastern side of Mount Warning. In 1966, he was conscripted into the Australian National Service. He completed a 13-month tour in Vietnam with the 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment and a 2-year-long posting with the Brigade of Gurkhas. Vickery served 23 years in the Australian Army and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring. In 2008, he was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his service to surf lifesaving and to veterans, particularly those that served alongside him in Vietnam. Currently, Vickery is treasurer of the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club and Vice President of the Kingscliff Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League. He lives in New South Wales with his wife and has two daughters and four grandchildren.
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