Soldiers connect with veterans

Marking 57 years since the battle, the camaraderie and unspoken exchanges among veterans were unmistakable as they met at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane to honour the service and sacrifice of all members involved in the Battle of Long Tan.

CAPTIONAustralian Army soldiers from the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment with members from the Long Tan Veteran’s Association attend the 57th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan service held at the at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane. Story by Corporal Rebecca Draheim. Photos by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.

Soldiers from Delta Company 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment joined veterans, partners and family members to commemorate those who fought in the battle.

Shared glances, subtle smiles, firm handshakes and knowing winks echoed of reminiscent bonds, not unlike those shared by members of Delta Company today.

More than a commemorative occasion, this event was also an opportunity for current soldiers and veterans to come together, bridging the generational gap created by time.

CAPTIONA member from the Long Tan Veteran’s Association enjoys a ride in an Australian Army M113 armoured personnel carrier.

Lieutenant Nicholas Linden said many invaluable lessons could be be drawn from their experiences.

“It’s also an opportunity for soldiers to feel proud and share stories which are enriching professionally,” Lieutenant Linden said.

“By preserving connections, we ensure that the stories, experiences and lessons of the past are carried forward, providing valuable insights and a sense of unity for soldiers today.”

Following the commemoration, the veterans were welcomed back to Gallipoli Barracks for a barbecue, accompanied by a presentation showcasing contemporary tactics in the modern training facilities.

CAPTIONA member from the Long Tan Veteran’s Association, enjoys a a BBQ lunch during the 57th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane.

Corporal Matthew Cook conducted the demonstration, which sparked significant interest from veterans and drew a large crowd.

Using the weapon training simulation system, Corporal Cook negotiated a simulated enemy ambush, which impressed and energised the onlooking veterans.

A veteran of Alpha Company who was among the reinforcements during Long Tan, Terrance Armistead said he wanted to join in.

“What they have now is much more modern,” Mr Armistead said.


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