Thursday, May 11, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
A local Vietnam veteran travelled to Melbourne for Anzac Day to reunite with his battalion, 8RAR.
With the caravan in tow, Les Palmer and his wife Sue embarked on a three-week trip that Mr Palmer described as “magic”.
Approximately 200 veterans met in Melbourne for the first reunion in three years, the occasion involving photo shoots, trips to shrines and memorials, a formal dinner at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and plenty of opportunities to catch up and share yarns.
The 8RAR battalion also marched together for Anzac Day through the streets of Melbourne.
“I’ve never seen a march so big, being a country lad,” Mr Palmer said.
“You couldn’t even see the shrine; you were that far down St Kilda Road.”
Mr Palmer said Anzac Day is an important day as he reflects on his own memories as well as his dad’s.
“It was good to be with the boys,” he said.
“Every Anzac Day, I put my medals over my heart, and I wear dad’s on my right side, I got medals all across my chest, so it means a lot to me and my dad.
“Besides that, I got wounded in Vietnam, there were nine killed and 16 wounded, so it means a fair bit to me - I lost a few boys over there.”
Les now looks forward to services in August as 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Les Palmer reunited with his Vietnam War battalion on Anzac Day