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Farnorha Long Tan veterans honour Remembrance Day

Don is a Long Tan veteran

For Bolton Clarke Farnorha residential aged care resident and Australian Army veteran Don, 87, Remembrance Day is the most important day of the year.

Don served 23 years in the Army, including in the Battle of Long Tan in August 1966. He is one of two Long Tan survivors living at Farnorha who will be part of the home’s Remembrance Day commemorations.

“I spent 12 months training in Liverpool in Sydney then I served three years without coming home,” he said.

“I served in Korea then I was sent to Malaysia and to Borneo to work as a Fire Control Specialist and Sergeant.

“In Vietnam I helped the medical bloke, and I am the second eldest survivor from the Battle of Long Tan.

“One of my best friends lost his life over in Vietnam but I was fortunate to live, even though a shell landed close to me.

“In time, people like myself will pass on and be forgotten but the people killed in battle will never be disregarded as those who gave the ultimate - their life- for other people.”

On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes’ silence is observed and dedicated to those Australian soldiers who died in all wars and conflicts.

Don fought in the 6th Battalion at Long Tan in Phước Tuy Province, South Vietnam, where 18 Australians were killed and 24 were wounded.

“The enemy got the frequency of the artillery and blocked us, which threw confusion,” he said.

“All our troops were spread out just in sight of each other and it was raining too.”

Don was posted to Cairns after the war ended and remained for about four years before being sent to South Australia, overseeing the Army Reserve.

He attended the 56th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in Brisbane this August.

“They held a formal dinner for about 12 of the original troops and took us out to the battalion day and showed us the latest training,” he said.

“I have a lot of time for diggers, and these are the people we remember.

“Australia can be proud of their armed forces, and they need our support and remembrance.”

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