Today we honour all Australians who served in the Vietnam War.
Each year on 18 August, on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, we recognise Vietnam Veterans’ Day.
Almost 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam, with 521 losing their lives in the war and some 3,000 wounded.
The Vietnam War was the longest conflict in which Australians were involved in the 20th Century. The first Australians to arrive in South Vietnam in 1962 were members of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. Australian forces would continue to serve in the war until 1972. In addition, from 29 March to 29 April 1975, a Royal Australian Air Force deployment of Hercules transport planes evacuated Vietnamese civilians.
Vietnam veterans are an important part the ex-service community and have played an integral part in establishing services for veterans such as the Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling service, which started out as the Vietnam Veterans’ Counselling Service.