VIETNAM: 'It is quite incredible for a small country town'
A SINCERE commemoration of those who fought, served and sacrificed their lives will help Warwick's Vietnam veterans in their ongoing journey to finding closure, decades after returning from war.
This morning at Leslie Park Cenotaph the service will bring veterans, serving members and the community together in solidarity for Vietnam Veterans Day.
Southern Downs Ex-Services Association secretary Barry Kelly said there was a surprising number of Vietnam veterans in the Warwick district.
From 91 members of SESA, 20-25 had served over the course of Australia's 10-year presence in the Vietnam War.
"That is quite incredible really for a small country town,” Mr Kelly said.
"A lot of them were actually called up for the Vietnam War, they didn't have a choice. I think for those it would have been a heck of a shock to work at a bank one day then get called up at 20 and shipped off to Vietnam.”
Mr Kelly said coming back from war had been extremely difficult for many of Warwick's returned servicemen.
For some, services like this morning's are too much.
"There are two fellas who won't attend tomorrow,” he said. "One was a military policeman who suffered terribly. They just won't attend because it brings up too bad a memory.”
But commemorations were also important to remember the sacrifice made by many.
"It is not a celebration and a commemoration and really thanking those guys. If anything we are glorifying peace.”
The guest speaker will be Lieutenant Colonel Dave Lynch CSC, the commanding officer of the School of Army Aviation at Oakey and has served in Afghanistan.
"I think it will mean a hell of a lot to the guys,” Mr Kelly said.
All are welcome to attend the service at 10.45am at the Warwick War Memorial.