My older brother Tony once asked my dad, John 'Jack' Leane, what war was like.
"Think of your best mate being shot and killed while standing next to you. That was what it is like," Dad replied.
Tony never again asked Dad about World War Two (WWII), or his service in New Guinea and Borneo as part of 2nd 5th Commando Squadron.
And Dad never offered much information up.
This Saturday marks 75 years since the end of WWII.
Commemorations for VP Day - or Victory in the Pacific Day - will be different.
But the opportunity remains - to pause, to take stock, to reflect on 75 years of change.
On 15 August 1945, dancing and mass gatherings in the streets marked the end of the war.
The end of five years, 11 months and 11 days of Australian hardship, hard work, sacrifice and loss.
My family only saw hints of Dad's time at war. He hated bugs and we grew up under a cloud of repellent. And he always insisted on dry socks.
But us kids - and particularly me, as one of the youngest - were mostly spared the reality of what he had endured.
That reality was that he had set off to war on an adventure with his best mate. And returned alone, haunted by his loss, and his own experiences.
My older sister Theresa, who was born three years after Dad's return, thought all dads had nightmares.
She remembers his heavy footsteps running very fast down the passageway at night, and hearing him yell in an urgent voice, seemingly warning people of danger.
The dreams went on for a number of years, and my ever-patient Mum would reassuringly guide Dad back to bed, before checking on my siblings who'd been woken by the noise.
I was only nine or 10 when he passed away from heart disease at just 50, despite being fit, healthy and a non-smoker.
I remember an impeccably-dressed hard worker, with a strong commitment to, and love for, his family.
I wish I remembered more, but I feel fortunate, though sombre, to have learnt a great deal recently about his experience - both on the frontline, and back home, in the years following.
I do remember Mum would say Dad joined the army at 11 stone and was lucky to be eight stone wringing wet when he returned from the war. Of course, I now understand what she meant, and the toll of war.
When he died, she had eight kids to support, and she did so without any assistance. My siblings believe that, in 1971, with so many WWII, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans alive and needing assistance, services were stretched. Also, sadly, she felt that with the sheer number of returned soldiers from the multiple wars of the 20th Century, the immensity of his service was not appreciated until many years later.
That has certainly changed in recent decades. Victoria - indeed Australia - is now firmly committed to honouring all those who have served. All commemorations this year will be online, and virtual, and designed to keep us safe.
That said, I invite Victorians to make it extra special in other ways, particularly for our living veterans who will be spending the anniversary away from their loved ones.
You can do this by writing to a living veteran or sharing a message of thanks on social media. I'd also love to see my neighbourhood, and our social media awash with images of homes covered in colourful buntings.
This VP Day, I will look to the immense bravery, resilience and spirit of mateship my dad - and the close to a million Australians who fought with him in WWII - embodied. I invite you to do the same.
There'll be an online ceremony hosted by RSL Victoria and the Shrine of Remembrance on their Facebook pages, while that weekend, Victorians can also take part in an interactive digital exhibition WWII at Home: Response, Reflection & Rejuvenation.
Curated by the National Trust of Australia in conjunction with Open House Melbourne/ Centre for Architecture Victoria, the exhibition will profile 18 of Victoria's most significant WWII sites, highlight veterans' stories and the impact of the war on the home front.
Some of Melbourne's iconic buildings and institutions, including The Shrine of Remembrance, Old Treasury Building and Museums Victoria - as well as local and regional community organisations and museums - will also take part in the anniversary by holding online exhibitions over the coming weeks.
While we stay at home to protect one another, I encourage you and your family to explore Victoria's 'from home' commemorative program at vic.gov.au/world-war-2-75th-anniversary.
To all those who served, I want to thank you and honour your service, and to those who didn't return home - Lest we forget.
Shaun Leane is the Victorian Minister for Veterans
People can also visit major virtual cultural events and exhibitions, including WWII at Home, which will explore 18 Victorian sites of significance and which launches on Saturday.
To learn more, visit www.vic.gov.au/75th-anniversary-end-world-war-two-wwii