GATHERED: Original soldiers of D Company, 6RAR, to mark the 3rd anniversary of the company's epic battle against overwhelming odds, at the landing zone before marching back into the Long Tan rubber plantation for a commemorative service at the memorial cross.
GATHERED: Original soldiers of D Company, 6RAR, to mark the 3rd anniversary of the company's epic battle against overwhelming odds, at the landing zone before marching back into the Long Tan rubber plantation for a commemorative service at the memorial cross. Courtesy of the Australian War M

"We've now got closure” - Vietnam veterans spokesman

THE commemorative services planned across the globe to mark the 50th anniversary of one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War indicates the veterans of that war are finally being recognised.

This was the sentiment of Cockscomb Veterans Retreat President Herb Elliot when explaining what the day meant.

"This 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan was one of the most significant battles in a war, which was probably one of the longest wars we (Australia) were involved in," Mr Elliot told The Bulletin yesterday.

"Because we were treated so badly when we got back, this is recognition that this is our (Vietnam Veterans) day.

"We've got closure now."

Mr Elliot said the fact that the Federal Government had provided funding to a group of Battle of Long Tan veterans, including Major Harry Smith who lead the 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the battle against over 2500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers, was recognition for all Vietnam Veterans.

He said it was the first time the Government had provided funding for the trip, which has been made a number of times by the Long Tan veterans.

Mr Elliot said there was also a dawn service for Vietnam Veterans Day planned for Canberra for the first time, which was a significant step in showing recognition to these particular war veterans.



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