Almost 50 years since the Battle of Long Tan, Ballarat paused on Sunday to remember the efforts of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War.
Veterans marched down Sturt Street in howling wind, with cadet units serving as the catafalque party at the South East Asian War Memorial.
Guest speaker Bill Bahr, Prisoners of War Memorial chairman, reflected on his father, a World War 2 veteran who went on to serve at Vung Tau, and his three sons, all of whom were in the armed forces.
"I just wonder how my mother coped, and as a person whose three boys were all deployed at the same time, it's very hard to understand that experience, unless you've experienced it yourself," he said in his speech.
"My dad didn't go to any of the welcome home parades for Vietnam veterans, he said he went to his in 1946.
"This (today's march) is for those veterans we forgot ... if there's any good that came out of the post-war treatment of our Vietnam veterans, is that there's now a much better understanding of the hidden effects of combat."
Vietnam Veterans Association Australia's Ballarat sub-branch president Eric Duggan, who recited The Ode, said after the march it was important to keep veterans of more recent wars in mind, as well as those who served in Vietnam.
"It's essential to remember that, and pass on to the veterans coming through now," he said.
"The biggest problem, I think, is when you start to work with government, they're always reluctant to come forward - you have to keep fighting, and get the assistance of older veterans that can help them along the way of the minefield of forms and everything else that comes with it."
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