We kept records of all the operations we did in Vietnam. On my first tour, we did about 400 a month. On the second, we were doing up to 1000 a month with the same number of staff – two to three surgeons and three or four nurses. Most of it was gunshot wounds and mine injuries. It was a really busy, busy time.
One of the things we were told, almost in jest, was that if we happened to be driving anywhere in Bien Hoa or Saigon, to never, ever run over an aluminium can because they had explosives in them. To this day, I cannot run over a can in the middle of the road. I will go around it. It’s interesting how some things stick in your head.