Baldivis and Rockingham Vietnam Veterans Day services to pay tribute

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
Safety Bay Ex Services and Community Club Inc member Allan Hill OAM, Mick Ryan and Lyndon Jackson.
Camera IconSafety Bay Ex Services and Community Club Inc member Allan Hill OAM, Mick Ryan and Lyndon Jackson.

The local community is invited to commemorate and remember the sacrifice and courage of those who served in the Vietnam War.

The Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans WA and Safety Bay Ex Services and Community Club Inc will each host their own Vietnam Veterans Day service next Wednesday, August 18.

Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the men of Delta Company of the 6th RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966.

The company of 108 men fought a force of an estimated 2500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers in a rubber plantation towards the abandoned village of Long Tan.

The efforts by the Vietnamese to surround the Australians were unsuccessful and they held out in muddy conditions through a tropical downpour.

The Australians prevailed as the D Company was reinforced, however during the battle 18 Australians were killed and 25 were wounded.

The commemoration day was originally named Long Tan Day but was changed to Vietnam Veterans Day in 1987 to recognise the involvement of all three services in the Vietnam War.

TPDVWA members Bernie Joss, Frank Hatzel and Ray Peele.
Camera IconTPDVWA members Bernie Joss, Frank Hatzel and Ray Peele.

In total, 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam in the 10 years Australia was involved in the Vietnam War.

SBESCCI master of ceremonies Lyndon Jackson said while most people recognised the role of the army during the war, Australia’s navy and air force also played “significant” roles and was keen for people not to forget their part.

Vietnam Veteran Allan Hill OAM said on returning home veterans were met by a hostile public, which left many scarred forever.

“Vietnam was the longest war Australia had fought and over 500 lives were sacrificed,” Mr Hill said.

The SBESCCI ceremony will be held at Vietnam Veterans Rock adjacent to the Rockingham Cenotaph on the corner of Flinders Lane and Kent Street, beginning at 5.07pm to acknowledge the first shot fired at Long Tan.

TPDVWA is holding its ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Port Kennedy, beginning at 11am and followed by a BBQ their club house on Mandurah Road in Baldivis.

Member Frank Hatzel said everyone who wishes to remember those who fought in the war is welcome at their ceremony.

“Whether you knew someone who fought, or just want to pay your respects, you are all welcome here,” Mr Hatzel said.

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