Silence is a friend of retired Warrant Officer, Douglas Thomas Lennox OAM. He is now the curator of the Armidale Army Museum, but as a younger man, Doug did two tours of Vietnam with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, and back then, silence helped keep him alive.
"Most of the time, when we were in the bush, we were sleeping in our vehicles. But we were in ambushes. You make a noise and you could end up being ambushed," he explained.
After 32 years service in the Australian Army, Douglas still needs silence to feel safe and enjoy life.
The public museum is quiet, although it offers constant reminders about the savagery of his combat experiences, and Douglas is humble, likeable, and aware of his how the museum links to his past.
He is a 73-year-old ex-soldier with the hands of a farmer and the build of a hero.
Douglas was born in Walcha, the only male sibling surrounded by sisters, and he remembered it being a very cold place.
"I always said the best thing to come out of Walcha was me," he joked.
He loved the rural lifestyle, but was also attracted to armour, tanks and armoured personnel carriers (APCs), of the Australian Army.
"When I did my recruit training at Kapooka, that was at the same period as the first intake of National Servicemen," he said.
"Ten months into the Army ... they sent a troop over to Vietnam.
"Most people wanted to go. To my understanding, they had an option whether they wanted to go or not, they weren't made to go. A lot of people report that they were conscripted to go, that's not correct."
Douglas said he thought of all the people conscripted for service, less than half went to overseas.
As a soldier in the regular Army he landed at Vung Tau on May 25 1966, as a member of the 1st Armoured Personnel Squadron in the 1st Australian Task force based at Nui Dat.
Douglas said he was never wounded, but his words tend tell a different story.
"I did get blown up three times by anti-tank mines," he said.
"I got blown up once on the first tour and twice in the second tour.
"The first one I hit was a smaller mine and it just blew out our wheels."
He said the two mines he went on to hit during his second tour were much bigger.
When the Battle of Long Tan kicked off on August 18 1966, Douglas and his mates were watching Col Joye and Little Patti perform at their base camp in Nui Dat.
"I think it was one of the first concerts over there," he said.
"Next thing that we know the artillery started going off, that suggested to us that there was something happening. We were then told to man the posts and things like that.
"At that particular stage, young trooper Lennox was in the squadron headquarters, and he was one of the radio operators. When the battle started, and we started finding out what was happening, we knew then that D Company was in trouble."
Douglas said he didn't know at the time, but intelligence and recent enemy mortar attacks in the region indicated an impending enemy attack. He said APCs were sent to pick up troops from 6th Battalion and transport them over to help D Company.
"It's well known, without the APCs coming, it's possible the D Company would have been annihilated. So you could say, the cavalry to the rescue," he said.
After Long Tan Douglas was transferred over to 2 Troop as the driver of lead vehicle 22Alfa.
"You mightn't like this, but everybody talks about Long Tan, but I believe there are other battles that also deserve mention," he said.
"Once upon a time Vietnam Veterans Day used to be called Long Tan Day, but to be honest there was only about 28 guys from 3 Cavalry at Long Tan. So, what about all the rest of the battles?
"We had other contacts, but the first battle I was in was on February 17 1967. It was called Bribie."
Once again it was 6 Battalion and it was where he saw the bodies of enemy and Australian soldiers for the first time, and it was where his best mate died. His name was Vince Pomeroy and he was from Victoria.
"I believe that day, and I haven't told many people this, but to my mind it still happened. And remember that this was a long time ago," Douglas said.
"We reacted to or tried to get through the Vietnamese attack, but the infantry kept getting in the road and I don't blame them. There were bullets flying everywhere and explosions -
"So, our vehicles were about a metre or so apart and sort of at an angle. Um, they fired a 57mm recoilless rifle at his vehicle. The first round hit the cargo hatch at the back."
Douglas said had the hatch been closed at the time the round would have hit his own commander in his turret.
"The next armour piercing round blew the driver's hatch off. We were closed down at that stage, but that would have [killed him]. Another one hit the front of the vehicle," he said.
"I know when that happened, but I still reckon, later on in life, I heard Pom say, 'What do I do now Sarge?' to our Troop Sergeant. Now, there is no way that could have happened because he was dead.
"I remember later in the night, when we got out of the contact, I asked one of the Corporals, I said, 'How is Vince?', thinking that he'd been wounded, and they said he's dead and I wouldn't believe it."
The 3rd Cavalry Regiment suffered 20 deaths during the war with 17 killed in action. Another 110 members of the unit were wounded. One calculation had it that 1 in 7 members of the regiment could expect to become a battle casualty in Vietnam.
Belgrave Cinema will screen Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan from August 29. They are offering $10 tickets to all members of the defence force, past and present. The movie is expected to run for two weeks.