Vietnam Veterans Day – honouring a life chapter, with reality checks

So Vietnamese bureaucrats have chucked a tết offensive against our 50th commemoration of the Battle of Long Tan.

No war is going to go as planned, or home-comings, or memories or one day debriefs just to hand gear back and take the bus home, or to magically transition back to civvy life; even commemorations 50 years on with lots of promises.

Reality checks hit hard.  Aussies are used to it, that’s why we’ve become recognised as one of the best fighting forces when the proverbial hits the fan.

Sometimes our memories selectively recall the good things.

Little Patty entertaining the troops

On 18th August 1966, an Australian Army patrol was despatched to seek out the enemy in the jungle.  They did not expect 2500 Viet Cong 5th Division massing for an all out assault on Nui Dat.  Though massively outnumbered, the Australians won the battle despite losing 18, and successfully prevented Nui Dat being overrun.

“Our casualties were 17 KIA, 21 WIA, with another 1 KIA and WIA from the APCs…245 enemy dead were counted and buried in specific areas by different units with no reason to fabricate the numbers. VC records later captured by US Forces indicated the total VC losses at Long Tan were in the order of 500 dead and 750 wounded.”

by Major Harry Smith MC [Read More]

Our Veterans belong to an elite honourable club who deserve the gratitude and respect of all Australians for their sacrifice, especially by public servants who are supposed to serve the public, and bureaucrats in Canberra who are supposed to respect the rights and to dutifully serve needs of our Vets.

Hats off and a toast to those Australians and our New Zealand cousins connected with Long Tan, with the Vietnam War, with all wars, conflicts and peace-keeping duties not with us, still with us and still serving.

D Company    Lest We Forget