This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Rod Harris, President of the Murray Bridge RSL, was one of over 60,000 Australians involved in the war. He was a lance corporal, looking after the welfare of a group of army platoon on the ground.
“We used to go out for sometimes up to 40 days in the jungle looking for the enemy… My platoon sergeant got wounded in a bunker contact and a couple of other diggers did as well, but we were a very lucky platoon we didn’t have any people killed,” Rod Harris said.
On Vietnam Veterans Day, Friday 18 August 2023, we are working with the Murray Bridge RSL to host a veterans march through Murray Bridge, followed by a service at the War Memorial and a RAAF flyover before an afternoon tea at the Murray Bridge East RSL clubrooms.
Rod Harris is encouraging all interested people to join in and line the streets in a show of support, as the initial homecoming was such a negative experience.
“A lot of people were against the Vietnam War, which is understandable, but what is not understandable is how they treated our troops when they came home from Vietnam. It should have been a welcome home, and it did eventuate in 1987, we did get a welcome home but until then, a lot of soldiers went and hid,”Rod Harris said.
Hear more from Rod in the studio with ARN journalist Jennie Lenman via the audio play window below: