The RSL has offered an apology to Vietnam veterans who were turned away from some sub-branches, as Geelong prepares to host its annual Vietnam Veterans march.
2023 marks 50 years since the completion of the withdrawal of Australian forces from Vietnam, ending one of the most bitter and divisive foreign policies in the country’s history.
Community resentment over Australia’s involvement in what was seen by many as an unnecessary war, was shared by many veterans of other conflicts, many of whom did not consider Vietnam to be a “real” war.
The rejection by their forebears was an added blow to a generation of soldiers, sailors and airmen who suffered horrendous abuse from members of the public after returning to Australian shores.
The RSL said it wants to acknowledge past mistakes, and that veterans suffered greatly when they were turned away from their local braches.
Geelong will mark Vietnam Veterans Day with a march along Swinburne Street, North Geelong, to the nearby Vietnam Veterans War Memorial.
Members of the Geelong and District sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association will gather at Osbourne House at 10.10am, with the march due to get underway at 10.50am.
A memorial service will be conducted at the memorial on Melbourne Road.