‘Honour they deserve’: $6 million for Vietnam anniversary commemorations
Events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War will share a $6 million grant from the federal government.
The centrepiece of the commemorations will be a national service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee told Mark Levy the events will help heal wounds inflicted on Vietnam veterans by a poor reception when they returned home.
“I have one Vietnam vet in my area who was wounded … but what really chokes him up is being turned away from an RSL club on Anzac Day because Vietnam wasn’t considered a ‘real war’.
“There’s so many stories like that – people being spat at on the streets, being abused as they were on their welcome home marches.
“[This] shows our veterans the respect and the honour and the love that they deserve.”
A total 60,000 Australian had served by the time the nation’s involvement ended in 1973.
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