New and old generations of veterans will come together on Anzac Day with a shared understanding of fighting tough battles and losing friends who never made it home from war.
Corporal Ian Wilson has served overseas, conducting biomedical maintenance in Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, but now teaches the next generation of recruits at Bandiana’s Army Logistic Training Centre.
He said he joined the army as a career where members were well looked after.
Anzac Day provides him and others with an annual opportunity to pay tribute to those who have served before.
“It’s a good day to catch up with old diggers,” Corporal Wilson said. “We can reflect on their service compared to ours.”
He will spend the day at a service in Eskdale, Victoria, as part of the army barracks’ tradition of sending officers to smaller towns for Anzac events.
Albury RSL president Mark Dando said he hoped Anzac Day showed younger veterans, especially those who returned home with post traumatic stress disorder, they could be supported better than soldiers from his own generation of Vietnam War veterans.
“It’s about supporting the veterans and paying tribute to those who didn’t come home,” he said. “We have a lot of young people coming home with psychological problems … I’m pretty proud of what we’ve been working to achieve, but we want to do more.”
It’s about supporting the veterans and paying tribute to those who didn’t come home.- Albury RSL president Mark Dando
Wodonga RSL sub branch president Kevyn Williams said commander of the Army Logistics Training Centre, Colonel Andy McLean, would be one of the guest speakers during the city’s morning services, then traditional celebrations like games up two-up would take place in the afternoon.
“It’s just a great day to get together with families,” he said.
“The main thing is to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Indi MP Cathy McGowan has thanked veterans past and present for their commitment and dedication, urging people to continue the spirit of the ANZACs by volunteering and giving to their own local communities.
“ANZACs volunteered to for the sake of their country, people can honour that gift by putting up their hands to be involved in their local communities,” she said.
“Anzac Day is traditionally a day to remember past sacrifice – that spirit still thrives in Indi in everyday acts of giving and commitment.
“People can be inspired by the ANZAC example to contribute in many ways.”
Farrer MP Sussan Ley said service men and women were doing an exceptional job as part of the international effort to combat the Daesh terrorist threat in Iraq and Syria and support the NATO-led assistance mission in Afghanistan.
But 2017 also marked the centenary of the Battle of Bullecourt in France, which was significant to Albury when the 13th Field Artillery Brigade “Albury Battery” helped recapture the village of Noreuil in April 1917.
“The battle at Noreuil is indicative of the hundreds of ‘local stories’ of service and sacrifice repeated across Farrer and across the nation,” Ms Ley said.
“Yet, there is no hierarchy of sacrifice for Australia’s defence personnel – it is impossible to say that one conflict was more important than another, that one effort was greater or lesser than another.
“All represent an equal, selfless commitment to our country.”