What does a lifetime in news, and on the front lines of war, cost a journalist?
More than you can imagine. That is always the case, in life, when you pursue your passion to its zenith. The middle word in life, after all, is sacrifice, and any person only has a certain amount of energy. You follow one thing for a long time, and other things will suffer.
Arnett’s first sacrifice was his homeland. To reach his potential as a journalist, he had to leave New Zealand. The world is certainly a better place for that decision, but to leave one’s culture for good will always create a hole that national accolades – his 2012 Order of Merit is one of his most prized possessions – can’t fill.
Follow war, even for the shortest amount of time, and you’ll see death. Most bodies will belong to people you never knew, but some will. Fellow AP staffers Henri Huet, Huynh Thanh My and Bernie Kolenberg were all killed while working in Vietnam. Australian journalist John
Cantwell - Arnett’s best man when he married Nina – was killed in a Viet Cong ambush in 1968.
This story was first published in November 2015, in Barkers's 1972 Magazine