There were exercises to do during training to get us up to speed for our tour of Vietnam. These were generally north of Townsville at military training areas called High Range and Mount Spec.
Most of the time spent there was treated very seriously, as training was essential to our survival in Vietnam. There were times that brought out the larrikin side in some of us. On one occasion, someone who will remain nameless happened upon a very large rock python lying on a boulder, minding its own business. This was too much for our hero, who just had to show how brave he was by capturing it. Once he had it, what should he do with it? Oh, there’s Len Dickman’s sleeping bag; bet the snake will like it in there. Needless to say, Len was not impressed when he proceeded to climb into his bed and found he was to share it with an unwanted guest. He showed great speed and dexterity for a large man. If Len were at the Olympics, he would have taken gold for the 100-metre sprint. It was funniest thing I’d seen while on an exercise.

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