A GENEROUS gathering of locals and visitors attended the Vietnam Veteran’s Day commemoration in the grounds of Greenbank RSL Services Club on August 18.
Veterans, their friends and families were supported by Logan City councillors Cherie Dalley and Trevina Schwarz, and Logan MP Linus Power, at the ceremony to remember those killed in action during the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975.
This year, ceremonies were held nationally on August 18 to mark the 51st anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Jeff Smith sits on board of directors of Greenbank RSL and was MC at the commemoration.
A retired sergeant, he served two years in south Vietnam with 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in 1968-69 and 1971-72.
“Today means that I can reflect on my time in Vietnam and the friendships I made, and the people in those friendships who didn’t come home,” he told the Times.
“It’s my day to remember them. Although I remember them every day of my life, today’s a special day.
“Our sub branch used to have this commemoration on a Sunday, now we’ve moved it to the actual day, the 18th of August, to coincide with the Battle of Long Tan anniversary. It will be an annual thing from now on.”
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According to Mr Smith, visitors attended the Greenbank commemoration from as far afield as the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, and there were many locals.
“There seems to be more this year. More and more people seem to be turning up,” he said.
“I’m proud that they come to show their respect for those that never came home, and those that came home and still have problems.”
Mr Smith said two very close friends were killed while serving in Vietnam, one on each of his tours.
“That sort of thing stays with you every day,” he said.
“You don’t forget. With all the trouble we have throughout the world at the moment, if we remember our past, we can improve on our future.”