It’s been a long haul for many ANZAC Vietnam veterans. Returning from serving their country in a foreign land, after fighting and dying for reasons not their own. On their return many found themselves anathema to the people they had fought for and served. Little support on the home front and less from the government who’d sent them overseas saw sickness and depression take its toll on otherwise healthy soldiers. It was not until 1987, some 15 years after the last of our troops returned from Vietnam that they were given a parade and the recognition of having fought for Australia at the government’s behest. They struggled to gain the respect of returned service organisations as well.
As we rapidly approach the 50th remembrance of the Battle of Long Tan (August 18), possibly Vietnam ANZAC’s greatest moment in that conflict I was very proud of our daughter and others in her school leadership team for representing their school at this important event. To all Vietnam Veterans, and veterans in general; thank you for your service, it is not forgotten nor taken for granted.
Lest we forget.