Colin Foley was born in Horsham, Vic, on Christmas Eve 1945, just after the end of WW II. His family subsequently lived in rural Castlemaine, before moving to Melbourne's eastern suburbs.
Colin gained entry to Melbourne Boys High School but wasn't suited to academic life. Earning money and spending it was more to his liking. Many years later he atoned somewhat for this by serving as President of the school's Old Boys Association.
After sampling a variety of jobs Colin was interviewed and accepted by a large advertising agency, part of an international network. He knew he had found a niche.
Compulsory National Service was introduced to bolster the Australian Army's ranks to support the U.S.A. forces in South Vietnam. Six months after the first twenty-year-old Australian boys had their birthday's marble drawn from a barrel, the orb for '24th December' was among those extracted. Hence Colin was drafted and inducted into the Army on the second of February 1966, for two years.
After more than a year of training, including passing the 'Intelligence' course, Colin went with the 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (7RAR) to Nui Dat, Phuoc Thuy Province, South Vietnam; Rank, Private; Designation, Rifleman; Company, Battalion Head Quarters; Section, Intelligence. All six Privates in 'I' Section were National Servicemen who had 'aced' the course.
On R&R leave in Bangkok he sent photos of Thai versions of ads created in his Melbourne office.
After discharge Colin was welcomed back into the ad agency but, like many other 'Vieterans' found the work less meaningful and had difficulty settling down.
Luckily, the company's directors were all ex WWII servicemen who recognized the symptoms. When Colin was called in by the directors after a year, he fully expected to be given a DCM (Don't Come Monday) Instead he was offered sub-management of the company's Bangkok office.
The one-year contract turned into three, during which Colin learned passable Thai and married a local girl. Despite offers of agency postings to other great cities, the marriage was struggling and Col decided to return to family with his Thai wife and take a role in Melbourne office. The job lasted six months; the marriage seven years, off and on, ending in divorce.
Colin knew his war service had made him almost unemployable and that he had to be self-employed. He went into numerous ventures including restaurants, catering, sales, advertising and writing before becoming a well-established mortgage broker for some ten years, gaining a diploma in that field.
As a balm to his PTSD and other conditions he now lives on peaceful and beautiful Magnetic Island, North Queensland with his understanding wife of 38 years, Joan and two dogs, Digger and Jess. One son, Sam, lives with his US wife, Cat, in San Diego, CA, while second son, Chester resides with his wife, Elise, in Melbourne, Vic