While the last guns rang out more than 40 years ago, many veterans still carry scars inside and out from the Vietnam War.
About 300 people gathered at the Vietnam War memorial in Perth’s Kings Park for a commemoration service in the lead up to Vietnam Veterans’ Day on Tuesday.
The day marks the 49th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan in South Vietnam, while this year was the 40th anniversary of the end of the war.
Vietnam Veterans Association state president Richard Williams said it was always an emotional day.
“Particularly for the ones who lost mates over there,” Mr Williams said.
“The after-affects of service in Vietnam is still very confronting today and even for the family members.
“Some have lost mates since then due to sickness or illness and unfortunately suicide due to the mental issues.”
The Vietnam War was one of the first major battles for Australian troops against the North Vietnamese Army and the local Viet Cong forces.
Just 120 Australian troops held off an enemy force of up to 2,500 before reinforcements arrived.
Of the dead, 19 were Australians while another 27 were wounded.
Today’s service also marked the 50th anniversary of the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
Their dispatch marked the first deployment of Australian combat troops to Vietnam.
Mr Williams said the association was still working to get government recognition for the effects of toxins and dioxins on veterans and family members who have also suffered illnesses.
In total almost 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973.
The war claimed the lives of 61 West Australians.
News Source: abc.net.au