John "Jethro" Thompson joined the Australian Army in 1964 and served in Sabah British North Borneo in 1965. In 1967 he was posted to 1 Field Squadron (RAE) in Vietnam. Five months later he was seriously wounded after standing on a landmine. In 1989 he received an Australia Day Achievement award and was made Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans Association in 1991. In 2006 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to war veterans.