Long Tan veterans face tough struggle for justice
ANGRY veterans of the battle of Long Tan are on a collision course with the army and will boycott a battalion ceremony to present Delta Company’s Unit Citation for Gallantry 45 years after the battle.
Company commander Harry Smith received his belated Star of Gallantry at Maryborough yesterday after a 15-year struggle for justice. The Unit Citation was awarded to ‘ D’ Company in 2009 and should have been presented by Governor General Quentin Bryce who had invited all Long Tan honours recipients to Government House last year.
Army chiefs derailed the vice-regal plan and have insisted the citation be presented to Delta Company and 6RAR at the battalion’s base at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane to mark Long Tan Day on August 18 this year.
Mr Smith said the Chief of Army Lieutenant General Ke n Gillespie couldn’t comprehend that the Citation was awarded to Delta Company as it was at Long Tan and not the entire battalion.