The Gunnedah RSL sub-Branch is this month preparing to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

The commemoration will coincide with Vietnam Veteran’s Day (August 18) and a service at the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum where two murals are displayed.

The murals depict soldiers from 7RAR in Vietnam waiting to board the iconic Huey helicopters and soldiers paying their respects beside the Long Tan Cross – Australia’s deadliest battle of the war where 17 Australians were killed in action and 25 were wounded.

More than 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam, at least 3000 were wounded and 523 gave their lives in the longest conflict Australians were involved in during the 20th century.

Gunnedah sub-Branch president John Commins said the occasion was an important part of Australia’s legacy.

“We should be proud of all Australians who served our country,” he said.

“Some paid the ultimate sacrifice in battle, others died in the years after on their return home. 

“Many more are still burdened by the physical and emotional toll of the conflict but all put their lives on the line in defence of our freedoms and the Australian way of life. This is a chance for the whole community to honour our veterans from the Vietnam War.”

Earlier this year (January 11), veterans also marked the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War. This year’s Vietnam Veterans service in Gunnedah will be led by master-of-ceremonies John Atkin while Vietnam serviceman Max de Mestre-Allen will deliver the guest address. Gunnedah’s 11am service will be followed by lunch at Club Gunnedah for veterans and guests.

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