Vietnam Veterans honoured
Vietnam Veterans Day was commemorated last Saturday, August 18 with veterans and their families attending a service at the Yarrawonga Mulwala RSL Memorial Wall at ClubMulwala.
The date is significant as it was on this day in 1966 that D Coy 6th Battalion, RAR, engaged with an estimated 2500 VC in a rubber plantation near Long Tan, South Vietnam.
This day has also become so much more for our veterans who served in Vietnam as these men and women were much maligned by sectors of the Australian public for taking part in an unpopular war.
Those in attendance to the local celebration remembered the sacrifice of these Vietnam Veterans and also took the time to remember all of our fallen and acknowledge the sacrifice those currently in our defence forces make.
This service was also a little different as the veterans sat to one side while the family sat opposite, and recognition was made to the families.
RSL Sub-Branch President Ian Summers thanked those who fought for honour, duty and Australia and recognised the courage and dedication these people showed.
“Thank you for serving our country when we called you, especially at a time it was not popular to heed the call,” Ian said.
“Like your fathers before you, you put your dreams on hold for our nation.
“Before answering Australia’s call, many of you probably had never travelled out of the country, maybe not your state.
“You were sent to Vietnam, a place somewhere on the other side of the world and most troubling, you were sent for a reason that many Australians questioned.
“But you answered the call to serve and I thank you, even if many people were ungrateful.
“Most of you deserved much better when you came home, a lot better.
“There were no parades. Instead of a thank you were not treated like the heroes you are, but you persevered.
“You have earned our respect and our gratitude, so we say ‘thank you and welcome home’.”
Roseanne Shalders, wife of deceased Vietnam Veteran Peter Shalders and daughter Kellie Whinray with WW2 Veteran Peter Wallis on behalf of his wife Gladys son Vietnam Veteran Chris Leihy.
Guest Speaker Stan Clarke OAM.
Local Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy with Long Tan Veterans.
Guest speaker RSL Sub-Branch President Ian Summers.
Communities members at the ceremony held at the RSL Club Memorial Wall at ClubMulwala.