Viet­nam Vets re­mem­ber in Can­non­vale

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Char­lotte Lam

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.

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