TIME TO REFLECT: Geoff Pickering addresses the crowd at the Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony at Leslie Park yesterday.
TIME TO REFLECT: Geoff Pickering addresses the crowd at the Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony at Leslie Park yesterday. Gerard Walsh

Call for greater awareness

VIETNAM veteran Major Geoff Pickering had a message for the Federal Government when he recalled the dedication and sacrifices of Australia's veterans at yesterday's service to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day.

"We have the lowest level of funding since just before the Second World War," he said.

"Soldiers today often buy their own field equipment and boots from outdoor goods stores. Snipers even have to purchase their own Parker Hale rifles."

Mr Pickering said all Australians from young teenagers to old politicians should become more aware of Vietnam Veterans Day.

"We should pray for peace and that future generations will be even better than their fathers," he said.

RSL sub-branch president John Skinner started proceedings with words in memory of those killed in action or injured in Vietnam, those who have suffered in the intervening years and the wives and families of ex-servicemen.

Rev Darren Muller, of the Warwick Baptist Church, read the Act of Remembrance Prayer, said the prayer for our defence forces today and celebrated benediction while Veterans Support and Advocacy Service vice-president Ken Ashton read the ode and was one of the wreath layers.

The National Anthem was sung by Lucy Boland from Warwick State High School in front of a crowd of 50 people at the Cenotaph in Leslie Park.



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