MEMBERS of the veteran community came together with family and friends at Dromana Cemetery on Thursday (3 August) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
A vigil was held at the graveside of Michael Poole, of Dromana, one of 523 Australians who died in Vietnam between 1962 and 1973.
Poole, who was killed by a landmine explosion in 1967, served with the fifth battalion.
More than 3000 Australians were wounded in the 11-year conflict and the Dromana service was one of hundreds held around the country as communities reflected and paid tribute to the fallen.
Safety Beach Vietnam veteran Roger Beacall said the veteran community was a “tight knit” one that recognised the importance of honouring those who paid the ultimate price.
Beacall, who served in the seventh battalion in Vietnam in 1967, said Pool was in his 20s when he was killed, the average age of most Australian soldiers who went to Vietnam.
He said Poole would never be forgotten.
The Australian government will mark the anniversary with a national service at the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra on 18 August.