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oldave

Vietnam Veterans Day

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521 Australians died in the Vietnam War, commemorated today on the 47th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, when 18 members of the 6th Royal Australian Regiment made the ultimate sacrifice. The dead consisted of both regular and conscripted (look it up) soldiers.

 

40 soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the beginning of the War on Terror.

 

All defence members have an expectation that they will die prematurely and go anyway.

 

Death in all forms is a terrible thing, especially when folk go prematurely

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I remember the fear of conscription in my Mum and her friends. My brother's number didn't come up, but he did join the Army Reserve.

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Dad's number came up. He was patrolling the perimeter as the Long Tan Cross was put up. He's still never seen it so I want to take him back there. Time is running out.

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Did you go to Vietnam Dave? Or ever worn a uniform? Im curious as to why you feel so strongly about this and your history.

 

I spent a great day yesterday with the US Navy as part of the memorial ceremonies as an invited guest. Ive had a long association with the military as part of my job.

Edited by TUv5.0

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My (Korean) father-in-law is a Vietnam Vet, he volunteered for two tours fighting alongside the Americans. He lives in a sheltered accommodation village just for war vets and their widows.

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Yesterday was a good day in a lot of regards. Its great that now for 26 successive years we have commemorated this occasion. As a kid in the 60s and 70s I remember seeing the protests on TV and the uprisings. Conscription (I don't have to look I up) has its pros and cons in my view and I believe there may be some merit in looking at it again. I do understand the oath of office and what it means to have a statutory obligation to place yourself in harms way. Ive also share many conversations with friends in the ADF about the short term and longer term effects of PTSD and similar conditions.

 

We are in agreement that credibility and discussion among peers is vital in order to adequately understand what it is like to be shot at, to place your life at risk and understand the toll it takes. There is substantial evidence to demonstrate links between battlefield experiences and the longer term exposure to trauma of career Police officers. For this reason I have been a peer support post traumatic stress counsellor and support person for over twenty years now. With bullets flying around several times a night in Sydney currently we see plenty of work. We are put in that role because we have been there and done that and thus have empathy with the involved officers at major incidents.

 

As I guess you saw on the other thread I got to have a very special experience courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy and the US Navy with my son. The first welcome home march actually happened in 1987. Back when I was in the tactical side of my business I worked very closely with the military and had many Vets as work colleagues back in the 80s, and more recently as Im now at Commissioned Officer level Ive had some great experiences during my time on secondment to the Feds and now back in my substantive role. The ADF may never have forgiven the Police for stealing their all forces triathlon title off them three times but at least we can all still be friends.

 

I am however very disappointed the author of this post only raised it, not from any genuine sense of occasion or any bona fide reason but after I had raised the issue of a number of cyclists dying on our roads over the past few days. They didn't sign a pledge of allegiance or have any obligation to place themselves in harms way.

Edited by TUv5.0

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I think you were meaning to refer to 6th Battalion, RAR weren't you OldDave?

Of course (slapping forehead) I was so concentrating on getting it right I got it wrong! Wouldn't do to upset the boys (and soon gals) of the RAINF.

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