Grant Bradley joins veterans in a tour group in Vietnam

Fifty years ago, Vo Xuan Thu had bombs and bullets rain down on him from Vietnam's invaders.

New Zealand was among a handful of countries that joined the United States in the American War, but earlier this year Thu welcomed me into his home, told me his story, shared Tiger beer with me and at the end of it pinned a souvenir Ho Chi Minh badge to my chest.

The former North Vietnamese Army (NVA) private then gave my translator and I a ride back to our hotel.

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Remembering the dead

Freeze frames

The first casualty

Long Tan - the battle among the rubber trees

Two per man, per day … perhaps

''It gave me a sense of what he went through.''

Burying the demons

Field Guide to Mat McLachlan's Vietnam Past and Present tour