A raw tale of a darker past has become the result of a life-changing lie for Vietnam Veteran, Michael Kramer.
Born in Germany on March 1, 1947 and moving to Australia as a migrant, Kramer was just 20 years old when the Vietnam War began to peak and young Australian men sought to serve their country.
Only, the age cut-off was 21. Kramer simply changed his birth date to a year earlier and went to war with the First Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
A small lie meant that in 2010 when he and his wife applied for a passport, he was accused of falsifying legal documents which voided his citizenship, licence and right to live in Australia where he called Culcairn home.
With his wife having travelled to England for a significant period of time and Kramer left alone to deal with the fate of his future, barely being able to leave the home due to a retracted driver's licence, he began to write.
"I was in anguish. All the birds came home to roost so to say," he said.
"I had to get it out of my system otherwise I would have done something horrid, so I decided to write it down."
Since then, four novels have been released under the name Michael Kramer, and as of now, a fifth.
A Gracious Enemy is the product of 18 months researching and writing by Kramer as a mix of historical facts and personal experiences, making it his largest piece of work.
"Once I get into [writing], I spend incredible amounts of time on it, I get little sleep, it's like an old war horse with a bit in his mouth," he said.
"I find it soothing to do this, not difficult despite the graphic details, it gets it off my chest."
The story follows the three Indochina Wars in a way Kramer describes as 'baring warts and all'.
The fist war focuses on the fight between Indochinese people and the French colonists alongside their US allies. The second features Australia's involvement in what is most commonly known as the Vietnam War, and the third addresses the Pol Pot administration and their flee into the jungle.
"I wanted it to be written as if someone was reading a story, you know," Kramer said.
"There's conversations between the characters of course, imagery with words but also a bibliography at the end with all the research."
The novel also delves into the rebuilding of the Vietnamese nation after the war, as well as political involvement from both sides that Kramer says few people know.
"It was basically a war against poverty," he said.
"Look at Vietnam now, though, they are a Communist government but so what, they've done amazingly well for their people since the war."
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Kramer said he writes in detail about the Vietnam leader at the time, Vo Nguyen Giap, as well as a decision by the Australian government that few understand.
"For Australia's involvement in the war to start, we had a very sneaky Prime Minister - Robert Menzies," he said.
"He got the First Battalion Royal Australian Regiment to board the HMAS Sydney for several days in secrecy, they were not allowed to speak to anyone, not even their wives or family.
"Then he decided on April 27, 1965 to make an announcement that these soldiers were being deployed to Vietnam.
"Only the thing was that he announced that on a Thursday right before a long weekend at 8pm to an empty parliament because all the members had nicked off for their leave.
"The Australian population then didn't find out about it until the following Wednesday and by that time, they'd landed in Vietnam."
There was a general feeling shared among the soldiers, Kramer said.
"Most of us felt that Australia shouldn't have been involved in the war," he said.
"We thought, 'What the hell are we here for, what threat are they to our country?'
"None of us should have been there in the first place."
Suffering from PTSD, Kramer said his psychologist also played a role in his writing.
"My psychologist said to me, 'My boy, I detect a lot of seething emotions boiling in you just under the surface,' and told me to enroll in tertiary education so I could be taught to solve problems and get things down on paper," he said.
"I completed my studies in engineering and it really did help, so writing these novels has definitely been a side-part to that."
A Gracious Enemy will not be the last of Kramer's writing, according to the author.
"I'm planning another one right now, it will go back to English history like my last one before this - Now What - about how the English became the English," he said.
"The more I do this sort of stuff, the better. I have to confront this and beat it. That's why I'm doing this."