No One Left Behind
By Keith Payne VC
Published by Macmillan
RRP $49.99 in hardback | ISBN 9781760984700
Keith Payne, VC, AM was born in Ingham in north Queensland in 1933. He grew up in the shadow of the Great Depression and the Second World War.
Enlisting first in the CMF (as an under age recruit), he later joined the regular army. He was sent to fight in Korea at just 18 years old, thus beginning decades of military service, which included most notably Vietnam.
Keith’s life was defined by one night in 1969.
In the dark jungle of Vietnam, under heavy enemy fire, Keith returned to a fled battlefield to rescue forty of his soldiers.
For this extreme act of bravery in leading his men to safety, Keith became one of only four Australians in Vietnam to earn the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth’s highest military honour.
While much of this book focuses on his military career and deployments, it is also the story of his continued fight to help veterans suffering from PTSD.
He remains critical of the failure to learn the lessons of Vietnam, especially concerning the welfare of former ADF personnel who continue to suffer the same mental health issues.
This is a compelling story of one man whose voice commands respect.