Vietnam Veterans Day 2020

Vietnam Veterans Day 2020

18 August 2020

On 18 August, we commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966. Veteran and Mate, Jim recently wrote about his time serving in Vietnam and the importance of commemorating the day.

My name is Jim Shinnick and I served in the Royal Australian Signal Corps (RASIGS) for two decades and did two tours of Vietnam, in the mid-1960s and then again in the early 1970s. 

I was in the 110 Signal Squadron which was based in Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, and then in Vung-Tau. My job was a Linesman (Rigger), providing communication support during the War. Our communication motto was always “first in, last out”.

I was like most diggers in those days — writing letters most nights to our girlfriends or wives and then waiting for the big silver bird (the mail plane, a C-130 Hercules) to rock up with news and pictures from home.

Although there were some very sad times during the War, I like to try to remember the good times and do this through listening to music from the 60s and 70s.

Since returning home from Vietnam, my wife Lyn and I have been back for two RASIGS reunions and visited all the places I called home for a while. On Remembrance Day in 2009, we attended a memorial service just outside of Nui Dat in the Rubber Plantation at Long Tan at the Long Tan Cross. If I had to choose between the reunion night with my mates or attending the service at the Long Tan Cross, I would pick both.

My cousin was a national service conscript and served with the 5th Royal Australian Regiment 4 Platoon B Company in Vietnam. Sadly he was killed on the 21 February 1967 in Phouc Tuy Provence just outside of Nui Dat Base Camp. As past serving members of the Defence Force Family it is up to us to make sure that the sacrifices of all those that served and those that are still serving their country are not forgotten and that the good times are remembered. 

It’s so important that we recognise days’ like Vietnam Veterans Day, ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day and use them to reflect and remember those past and present, and instil into younger generations to embrace and uphold the good values of life.

Written by Jim Shinnick AKA – The Out Station Boundary Rider.

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