Sky’s Paul Murray slammed Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten for not attending the return of the last of the fallen Vietnam veterans.
I wasn’t alive when the Vietam War was on. I’ve learned about it in history, had a former veteran tell of his experiences last year at RYLA and had grown up listening to Khe Sahn by Cold Chisel.
The Vietnam War was an atrocious period in Australian history and the aftermath was abhorrent. The failure of Turnbull and Shorten to attend the arrival of the last remains would’ve been another kick in the guts for the fanilies of soldiers, and tge last of the survivors.
I think the Vietnam War saw a shift in how people – especially surviving veterans – dealt with war and it’s effects. The code of silence that veterans from World War I, World War II and Korea, has largely been broken. The ‘Uncle’ we had at RYLA camp – himself a former Vietnam vet, was very candid about how the war affected him and his life afterwards. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder became a recognised illness and, even now, largely, the well – being of retuning soldiers and tge families of the fallen (i.e. legacy), is never far from people’s minds. Prince Harry has used sport for injured soldiers to have fun, but also give them purpose again.
It’s fair to say that the dark days of the Vietnam War and its aftermath are behind us. We have come a long way in the understanding of it’s effects – effects on families and soldiers. People are willing to help those who do return home and the spouses/ partners of those who didn’t make it back. That doesn’t give Shorten or Turnbull the right not to pay their respects to those who fell, those who (physically) survived the war and to their families. Lets putcthis tragic history behind us. Biput let’s NEVER forget those who fought.