Like many Nashos who were in government employment when called up, for me there was a real cost in a financial sense.
Let me explain.
I was called up as a teacher. Back in 1969, my teacher's salary was $2848 per annum.
Once in the army, I earned $1248 per annum in Australia, and $1846 per annum on active service in Vietnam.
Had I not been called up, the total of my teacher's salary across those two years would have been $5696. That was what all my colleagues who didn't win the ballot earned.
In the army I earned $3094 during 1969/70.
The difference is $2602.
A pittance, you say.
Well, not really. The value of $2602 in 1970 money is, in 2014 money actually $27550.
How did I work this out? There are any number of websites that will do the calculation. The example is a US site, but the figures hold on this side of the Pacific. It's inflation, stupid.
Some states apparently provided "make-up" pay, in that they paid the difference between army pay and public service pay to the diggers called up. This did not happen in Queensland in Bjelke-Petersen's day.
I wonder if this could be grounds for a class action. I've contacted a firm of plaintiff lawyers, and they're looking at it - out of curiosity, you understand. They haven't dismissed it out of hand and are asking for more information.
If any of this is relevant to you, dear reader, by all means get in touch, either on this blog, or by email.
Imagine Tim Nicholl's (Qld Treasurer's) reaction if he was presented with an invoice for $27550.
I doubt he'd be smiling (as per pic above).
The figures were obtained from my Army paybook, and the archives of the QTU. They're accurate.