Local veterans remember the significance of Remembrance Day

Headshot of Indigo Lemay-Conway
Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
TPDVWA members Bernie Joss, Chris Elliott, Pat Trevis and Frank Hatzel
Camera IconTPDVWA members Bernie Joss, Chris Elliott, Pat Trevis and Frank Hatzel Credit: Indigo Lemay-Conway/Sound Telegraph

The Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA are urging locals to take part in this year’s Remembrance Day and remember the sacrifices of all veterans to give us the world we live in today.

Vietnam veteran and TPDVWA member Bernie Joss said he worries people are forgetting the significance of the 11 hour of the 11 day of the 11 month and hopes the older generations can continue to pass on their memories so “hopefully we never get lost in our younger generations to come”.

“Remembrance Day is about remembering the sacrifices that these veterans made for what we’ve got today. Lets not forget what this is all about, remembering those soldiers who lost everything for you to have the freedom that you’ve got today,” Mr Joss said.

“If they didn’t fight their heart out, things might not be like they are today, our whole society has what it does because of them.”

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Fellow TPDVWA member Frank Hatzel was a Forward Scout in the Vietnam war and Mr Joss said he could only imagine how scary a job like that would have been.

“Frank here was the guy that went in front of everyone looking for the bad guys. I said to him once, wasn’t that a bit scary to do that?

“He said, ‘they didn’t even know I was there’. It would have been as scary as buggery and don’t let him tell you any different,” Mr Joss said.

“It was a walk in the park,” Mr Hatzel said.

“But it’s not funny when you’re under fire that’s all I can say. When you’ve got incoming, you’re that much afraid, you say ‘Lord if you get me out of this alive, I’ll go to church every Sunday’. But you just haven’t got time to be afraid, because you’ve got a job to do.

“We are the lucky ones here having a pint together, this is our therapy and sadly some of our friends weren’t so lucky to make it home and have this camaraderie — that’s why we remember them.”

The TPDVWA’s Remembrance Day service will take place at 11am at the Port Kennedy Veterans Memorial Park, with guests invited to a barbecue lunch at Totally and Partially Disabled Veterans of WA Inc. clubrooms in Baldivis after the service.

The City of Rockingham RSL’s service will be held at Village Green from 10.30am and afterwards at the Rockingham RSL on Memorial Drive.

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