Vietnam veterans remembered

A soldier from the Gympie based ninth Royal Queensland Regiment stands guard at the Vietnam Veterans Day service in Gympie this afternoon.
A soldier from the Gympie based ninth Royal Queensland Regiment stands guard at the Vietnam Veterans Day service in Gympie this afternoon. Tom Daunt

THIS afternoon afternoon, at Memorial Park, people from all over south east Queensland paid their respects to those service men and women who paid the ultimate price for our country in the Vietnam conflict.

Some travelled from as far as Brisbane to take part in the Vietnam Veteran's Day Gympie commemorations.

Vietnam Veterans Association Gympie Sub-Branch president Ivan Friske said the day was an opportunity for people to acknowledge those who fought in a conflict, that at the time was unpopular with the Australian public.

Australia sacrificed 521 military personnel in the conflict as well as seven civilians.

Mr Friske said the stigma of the war had disappeared, and the Australian public are more supportive now of veterans than ever before.

Mr Friske thinks how soldiers were treated post Vietnam helped pave the way for Diggers who are currently on operational deployments.

How they are received by the community is in polarity to what soldiers returning home from Vietnam experienced.

"People are more supportive now of our service men and women,” Mr Friske said.

The service doubled as a commemoration for our soldiers that fought in the battle of Long Tan.

An operation that optimised Australian resolve on the battle field.

Gympie Times

Topics:  army reserve australian army ivan friske vietnam veterans day

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