Naked soldier scandal a storm in a teacup

ROCKHAMPTON war veterans yesterday shot down a scandal erupting over claims of racist behaviour by naked soldiers at Shoalwater Bay.

The Defence Department is investigating claims officers at the Talisman Sabre training exercise near Rockhampton in July, involving 17,000 Australian and US troops, posed for photographs while wearing Arab headdress and brandishing firearms.

Staff at the Parramatta RSL Club allegedly discovered copies of the photos after they were left on a table following an army function.

Yesterday respected Rockhampton war veterans Keith Joyce and Nick Quigley wanted to know what all the fuss was about.

They both said it seemed to be a case of soldiers having a bit of fun and if the claims were true the incident should not be taken too seriously.

"If it offends people's sensitivities, that's too bad,'' Mr Joyce, 60, a Vietnam War veteran from 1970-71, said.

"It's not as offensive as people in Arab headdresses on television cutting off a person's head.



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