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Remembering Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War

With Remembrance Day upon us, Australia Post has revealed its plans to commemorate Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War by releasing a new stamp issue.

“It’s an honour to present this stamp issue as we join the rest of Australia to commemorate and reflect on those who served during the Vietnam War,” Australia Post philatelic manager Michael Zsolt says.

Zsolt says the stamp issue is the third in a five-year program focusing on those who have served the nation in conflicts since World War I.

The Vietnam War was fought from 1955-1975 between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

Australian troops entered the war in 1962 and did not withdraw until 1971. It is regarded as the country’s longest conflict in the 20th century and almost 60,000 Australians — ground troops, air force and navy personnel — served.

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Five hundred and twenty-one Australian servicemen lost their lives, while 3,000 were wounded.

“I am honoured that Australia Post is commemorating those who served in Vietnam in this way,” national president of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association, Ken Foster OAM JP says.

He says the VVAA remains a volunteer body, with a “sole interest in the welfare of veterans and the families of veterans”.

Foster feels the stamp issue is a means of remembering, interpreting and relating the experience of the veterans of the Vietnam era and the enduring impact of war on society.

August 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, which occurred in a rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam.

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Eighteen Australians and approximately 245 Viet Cong soldiers were killed. It was one of the most significant conflicts of the Vietnam War.

There are five domestic $1 stamps in the series, highlighting overarching themes such as servicemen in the field; Long Tan Cross; aid by Australian troops; public opposition to the Vietnam War; and the commemoration of those who served.

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The ‘A Century of Service: Vietnam War’ stamps will be available from October 11.

Did you or a loved one serve in the Vietnam War? What do you think of the stamps?

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