Fallen, not for­got­ten

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE Whit­sun­days is al­ways a mem­o­rable hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion but for Mel­bourne visi­tor and Viet­nam War vet­eran Stu­art Gol­land it was much more.

For the first time in his life, the 70-year-old was able to lay a wreath to hon­our the mates he lost dur­ing the war he spent one day short of a year at – in par­tic­u­lar, the Bat­tle of Long Tan.

“It’s up­set­ting but it’s done,” was all he could say as tears filled his eyes.

Sup­ported by wife Noelene, Mr Gol­land said he was grate­ful to the Air­lie Beach RSL for wel­com­ing him to Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day at the Can­non­vale ceno­taph on Tues­day.

Air­lie Beach RSL pres­i­dent Terry Brown said it was al­ways im­por­tant to re­mem­ber our fallen sol­diers.

“Par­tic­u­larly those who lost their lives stand­ing up for what they be­lieved in,” he said.

Whit­sun­day MP Jason Costi­gan was in the crowd.

“The Viet­nam War was rag­ing when I was a lit­tle boy and I was well aware many sol­diers came home never the same,” he said.

Guest speaker re­tired squadron leader Ken Thack­eray OAM served in Viet­nam from 1968–69 and pro­vided much for the au­di­ence to re­flect on.

“Im­por­tantly, to­day we gather to hon­our the 50,000 Aus­tralian Viet­nam vet­er­ans who served and our thoughts are with the fam­i­lies of those 504 Aus­tralians who did not re­turn and the thou­sands who re­turned with in­juries to body and mind,” he said.

RE­MEM­BERED: Tues­day's Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Day com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­mony in Can­non­vale.

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