Even after the passage of more than 30 years, Australians retain a collective memory of the war in Vietnam. But the volunteer surgical teams, sent by the government to work in local hospitals and treat the civilian population, have largely been forgotten. From 1964 to 1972, about 450 doctors and nurses served for periods of 3 to 12 months in one of four locations — Long Xuyen, Bien Hoa, Vung Tau and Ba Ria. Some returned for a second or third term. They were exposed to considerable personal danger and, on occasion, were under attack by the Viet Cong.
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