Vietnam Vets remember in Cannonvale
WHITSUNDAY residents took a moment out of their day on Monday to stop and remember the fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War, 1962–75.
More than 30 RSL members, Vietnam veterans, friends and families to those who had fallen, navy cadets and a priest attended the ceremony at Cannonvale Park.
The service included a speech from Proserpine RSL sub-branch president Terry Brown, a blessing from Father Chris Yule and the rising of the Australian flag to The Last Post.
Veterans and families were invited to lay a wreath at the memorial to remember and acknowledge those who lost their life in battle.
For local Vietnam veterans Ian Lade and Brian “Weary” Dunlop it was always a hard time of the year.
“It’s something we remember every day,” Mr Lade said.
“Have you heard that song I was only 19? Well that happened to my blokes, I was there.”
Mr Lade laid a wreath to remember the seven men he lost in this unit in Vietnam.
“It’s just like WWI guys and the WWII guys. We went to war too even though our war wasn’t the popular war.
“We came home and for a long time we didn’t even say we were Vietnam veterans,” he said.
Mr Lade was part of 6RAR (Sixth Battalion, The Royal Australia Regiment) which arrived in Vietnam in June 1966 and formed half of the infantry component of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) with 5RAR.
Mr Dunlop was in 5RAR which was nearing the end of its final operation before RTA (Return To Australia).
Monday was the second time Mr Dunlop had laid a wreath for his team commander, who was shot in Vietnam. The first time was just last year.
“It took me 44 years to let him go,” Mr Dunlop said.