Kevin Gill's voice begins to falter as his mind wanders back to those first few months after returning home from south Vietnam.
"I wasn't a total lunatic," Gill said, but like so many others he had struggled with a return to normality in the wake of his military service.
The 73-year-old Easts life member, talking through a landline because the mobile reception in his apartment is a bit scratchy, isn't sure where he'd be without his beloved rugby club.
"I just think it's been one of the best things in my life. I'm choking up a bit," Gill said.
"When I came back from Vietnam, these guys kept me together. What I've done in the past few days is the least I can do. I didn't think that would happen, didn't think I would choke up.
"If it wasn't for the Easts boys, I just don't know where things would have gone."
Which is why the former player, coach, president of the licenced club and canteen manager is so desperate to see the club's 82-year history live on amid a fight for survival.
Club president Huia Edmonds hopes to reignite support for Canberra's oldest rugby union club at an open meeting at the Croatia Deakin Soccer Club, beginning at 6.30pm on December 10.
The coronavirus pandemic was "the final nail in the coffin" for Easts after they withdrew from the John I Dent Cup, leaving six teams to contend for the premiership this year.
Gill says the last thing rugby union needs is for a club to fade into oblivion as club die hards brace for "a tough slog" to recruit more players.
They spent this season in the first division competition alongside Monaro clubs, with Edmonds now in discussions with ACT Rugby about fielding third and fourth grade teams against John I Dent Cup clubs in 2021.
Edmonds hopes Easts will also field a colts team next year, as a small band of volunteers look to invest in the club's junior program as part of a five-year plan to return to first grade.
"We don't have a core group at the moment, we've never had a relationship with our juniors," Edmonds said.
"There is no feeder following through from juniors into seniors. We pretty much have to start from scratch. We're looking at a five-year plan here.
"The surrounding schools around Griffith Oval, as much as we want the first XV players to come and play for our club, it's more likely those players will want to go to higher end clubs which would be [Canberra] Royals, [Tuggeranong] Vikings, Queanbeyan just around the corner.
"We want to capture as many players from second and third XV and build a strong culture and a core group for them to come into colts. Once they're in colts for a couple of years, they can go into grade. We'll have that core foundation set.
"There's just a handful of us doing everything at the moment, we can't survive if that's the case.
"We want to build a culture, we want to build a home that we're going to keep for a very long time."