Vietnam vets honoured

Vietnam vets honoured

Glen Palmer raises a glass. Photograph - Richard Polden.

The Armadale RSL held its Service Members Lunch for the first time in two years on Sunday, welcoming veterans and service personnel together in recognition of Vietnam Veterans Day.

Vietnam Veterans Day was on Thursday, August 18.

“We hold it as close to Vietnam Veterans Day as possible, so it’s on the Sunday following,” Armadale RSL’s Ken Hepburn said.

“It means that anyone who served either prior or after Vietnam can also come down.

“We had 40 – 50 service members turn up, and their partners, and we had music on after the lunch and probably another 30 or 40 people came in for the afternoon.”

It has been a long time coming for Ken and the RSL family, who have had to limit their gatherings, especially for older members, due to health concerns over the years of the pandemic.

“It’s the first one we’ve had in about a couple of years and we were determined to put something on this year,” Ken said.

“As you know we haven’t had an Anzac Day service in the park for three years either.

“We have 190 service members and this weekend was one of the best turnouts we’ve had in years, actually.

“Five of our Vietnam veterans were there, we also had one of our older members there who is a Korean War veteran, but we had veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

“Most of us stayed for the whole afternoon.

“It’s a chance to talk about their experiences, they can talk to their own mates, people who have been there and understand what they have been through.”