Tributes flow for Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day

Tablelands Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

VET­ER­ANS and sup­port­ers from across the Table­lands turned Ma­reeba’s Byrnes Street into a mov­ing memo­rial last Fri­day as part of Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day ser­vices.

Vet­er­ans from Ku­randa, Ather­ton and Ma­reeba as well as the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Mo­tor­cy­cle Club from Mackay and other ar­eas across the Table­lands at­tended the cer­e­mony held at the Ma­reeba ceno­taph.

Ma­reeba RSL pres­i­dents and Ma­reeba RSL Sub Branch sec­re­tary Alan Webb said it was the 51st an­niver­sary of Long Tan now known as Vet­eran’s Day.

“It is an hon­our to be here to be part of com­mem­o­rat­ing all vet­er­ans to­day,” he said.

“This day is to com­mem­o­rate all the men and women who died in bat­tle and the 500,000 that were wounded, phys­i­cally and men­tally for life.”

He said it was a great day that was well at­tended and thanked the Ma­reeba Coun­cil and mem­bers and staff of the Ma­reeba RSL for the work they did help­ing to or­gan­ise the day.

He also thanked mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Vet­eran Des Aylet was a War­rant Of­fi­cer who served in Malaya, Malaysia, Viet­nam and also worked with train­ing sol­diers in Cam­bo­dia.

Cur­rently liv­ing in Ma­reeba, War­rant Of­fi­cer Aylet joined the march to show his re­spect.

He said his brother was also in the Army and served two tours in Viet­nam be­fore he died in ac­tion dur­ing his sec­ond tour.

“Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day is about re­mem­ber­ing your old mates and those that didn’t come back,” he said.

He said be­ing a part of Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day gives him a feel­ing of be­ing a part of a group who has suf­fered sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences to him. War­rant Of­fi­cer Aylet suf­fered in­juries whilst on ac­tive ser­vice.

Ex-Air Force war­rant of­fi­cer Rod Fen­ton from Ather­ton, along­side Third Cav­alry Reg­i­ment Des Ed­munds from Ju­lat­ten marched in the 2017 Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day March in Ma­reeba. Mr Fen­ton marched with a flag that once be­longed to one of his troops.

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