We will remember them: Gympie veteran pays tribute
LONG-TIME friendships was one thing to come out of the time that Gympie man Ray Hiddlestone served in the Vietnam War in 1967.
The other things that came out of it are too hard to talk about, the returned serviceman said.
Ray said his time serving in Vietnam for 10 months as a 21-year-old “changed him a lot”.
“Some of my mates lost legs and arms.”
The rest is too difficult to reflect on, he said.
He said the RSL had been a fantastic support and he was now hoping to donate family war photographs to Gympie RSL.
In particular are two photographs of English troops that came from his father’s war album – a group of fresh-faced young men before they depart to serve in World War I.
Ray’s English father served in World War 1 – using one of his deceased brother’s birth certificates to sign up after they were both killed in Gallipoli.
He was 17 at the time and joined the Navy.
Today Ray will be remembering his father, his uncles and those he fought beside, some of whom he is still in contact with and has formed life-long bonds with.
He will also be passing a legacy onto his four-year-old grandson – using his collection of medals, photographs and tales to make an album for him.