LONG TAN REMEMBERED: Harry Tattersall speaks of the significance of Vietnam Veteran's Day.
LONG TAN REMEMBERED: Harry Tattersall speaks of the significance of Vietnam Veteran's Day. Greg Bray

Service for Vietnam veterans

GLADSTONE residents will pay their respects to the veterans who served in the Vietnam War tomorrow to commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

The Gladstone RSL Sub-branch will host a Vietnam Veterans' Day Service at Anzac Park for residents to attend alongside Gladstone's Vietnam veterans.

RSL president Harry Tattersall said the day was important to remember the soldiers that went to Vietnam and came home, and those who didn't return.

"It's a fairly brief service paying respect to service personnel who served in Vietnam,” Mr Tattersall said.

"It's for those who were wounded there and those who suffered problems after they got home.”

The Battle of Long Tan was fought in a rubber plantation in South Vietnam on August 18, 1966 when 18 Australians died as their small group defeated a much larger force.

The Vietnam War cost 580 Australian lives and at the time was longest war (1962-73) and the biggest conflict since World War II.

Mr Tattersall said on the veterans' return home they were shunned by the public, rejected by a hostile government and had their military service derided by an unsympathetic moratorium protest.

Mr Tattersall believed there was in excess of 100 Vietnam veterans living with the Gladstone region.

"They'd all be averaging 70 years of age,” he said.

"It would be good to see them there on Sunday, but I don't expect them all to be there.”

The service will be at Anzac Park from 10.30am for an 11am start.

It is expected to finish at 11.30am and will be followed by a luncheon for veterans at the Gladstone RSL Bowls Club.



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