Sports club lends veterans hand
By NADINE FISHER
"All wars are undesirable and it's sad that we haven't learnt from past experiences."
This was the sentiment expressed by veterans who gathered yesterday at South Tweed Sports to promote the upcoming commemoration and 39th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan on August 18.
South Tweed Sports board chairman and World War II veteran Douglas White said each generation seemed to go through the same trials and tribulation as the one before.
"We must defend our way of life, but it's a shame we don't learn from experience," he said.
Vietnam veteran and organiser of the commemorative day at South Tweed Sports Dave Crockett said this would be the first time the commemorative day had been held at the club and veterans had been overwhelmed with the help given to make it a special occasion.
"They are bending over backward to make this day our day," he said.
"They are even going to the extent of constructing a Vietnam Veterans memorial garden on the east side of the club which will be something really special, a permanent reminder for all eternity.
"It will face the rising sun and will have a Vietnam Veterans memorial board, flagpole and gardens. There are no words to express what that means to veterans in the community."
"And the memorial garden is due to be completed in time for this year's Battle of Long Tan commemoration, which is just fantastic."
Mr Crockett said there were 100 veterans who would gather at the club on August 18 from 9.30am.
"We have veterans coming from as far as Nambour and Murwillumbah to commemorate this 39th anniversary of the battle.
"The service will be at 11am followed by a barbe cue and refreshments.
"It's a very important battle to remember, as it's the only one from Vietnam that is commemorated. D Company 6th Battalion RAR received a US Presidential Citation for their involvement in the Battle of Long Tan.
Mr Crockett said the feeling between troops was something that was lifelong.
"There is a camaraderie between troops that is everlasting it's not just mates, it's family.