Busy weekend for Vietnam Vets

IT WAS 44 years ago when members of 2 Field Ambulance went to Vietnam to establish the first medical facilities in that campaign.

Two decades after their return, some of the veterans decided it was time for a reunion and since then members have met every two years mostly in capital cities.

This weekend they’re converging on Coffs Harbour at C.ex Coffs.

“I’m very pleased with the numbers attending this time and numerous activities have been planned over the weekend,” said Rodger Eyles, the organiser and treasurer of the 2 Field Ambulance Past Members’ Association.

“They include a meet-and-greet this Friday and a coach tour to the Bellingen markets on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon there will be a memorial service at the (Coffs) Cenotaph followed by the unit dinner.

“Sunday morning the group will have breakfast and a show at the Pet Porpoise Pool. The bi-annual meeting on Sunday afternoon will be followed by a farewell barbecue.”

The unit had 128 members in Vietnam and to date 37 of them have since passed on.

The men will remember every one of them when they lay a poppy for each at the memorial service.

“A lot has been written about the Vietnam War and those who fought in it and you can rest assured that every man in this unit would not have changed a thing and were happy to serve their country including about 20 national servicemen,” Mr Eyles said.

“Although they are all in their twilight years now the members travel by plane, train, car and caravans from all over the country to be with each other and share the memories of the time they had together in an Asian conflict so many years ago. The meeting will decide where the next re-union is to be held in two years’ time. It is to be proposed it be held in Townsville.”

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