John Cunnington, secretary of the Sunshine Coast branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association, at the War Dog Memorial at Alexandra Headland. Preview story for Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
John Cunnington, secretary of the Sunshine Coast branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association, at the War Dog Memorial at Alexandra Headland. Preview story for Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Hand extended to Iraq and Afghanistan vets

EVERY week, a woman faithfully leaves a flower on the National War Dog Memorial at Alexandra Headland.

Who the hibiscus is from or who it is for is not known, but the sign of remembrance is noted and appreciated by the Sunshine Coast sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.

The memorial, which is sponsored by the sub-branch, has become a place of remembrance for man and man's best friend since its dedication in 2001.

Veterans and other members of the public will gather at the memorial from 6am on Monday for a dawn service on Vietnam Veterans' Day, on the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan 48 years ago.

A flower on the War Dog Memorial at Alexandra Headland. Preview story for Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
A flower on the War Dog Memorial at Alexandra Headland. Preview story for Vietnam Veterans Day. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Sub-branch secretary John Cunnington said Vietnam veterans encouraged young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan to join them.

"We're starting to see them come through our welfare system and we want to make sure they get the right advice and they aren't treated the same way we were 40 years ago," he said.

A service also will be held at the Caloundra RSL from 11am. Participants should gather in the carpark at 10.30am.

- JANINE HILL


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