Psychology and Allied Health Services

Vietnam Veteran’s Day 18th August

His Excellency, Major General Michael Jeffrey AC CVO MCHIS delivered a speech for the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.  We have referenced his speech in this article.

Major General recalled that it was to our country’s shame that its armed forces in Vietnam were not recognised until almost 20 years later.  Around 25,000 veterans marched at the national ‘Welcome Home’ parade held in Sydney in 1987.  This led to the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke, to declare August 18th to be known as Vietnam Veterans’ Day.  As such, this day now commemorates all veterans of the Vietnam War.  Major General explained that around 50,000 Australians and 3,500 New Zealanders were involved, including the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, our Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy personnel; as well as regular and national servicemen.

This day is also an acknowledgment of those who supported the deployed Australian personnel during the Vietnam War.  Major General spoke of the command, logistics and training organisations, the Gold Coast rest and recuperation volunteers, doctors, nurses and medical orderlies, Padre’s and the Salvo’s and in particular the families.  It is well recognised that too many had to deal with significant hurt including prejudice, ignorance, loneliness and of course – loss. “Today is also for them”.

We take this time to thank all the veterans who served our country in the conflict that was Vietnam. We honour those who did not return and those who returned hurt in body or mind. None to ever be forgotten; nor indeed the families and loved ones.

Thank you.