VIETNAM War veterans had to wait a long time to feel they were part of Remembrance Day services.
But Warrnambool's Peter Stapleton, who in 1967 went to Vietnam at the tender age of 21 to serve in the infantry, said times had changed.
On Monday he stood proudly among the crowd at the city's November 11 service.
Donning a poppy tie and his war medals, Mr Stapleton said the emotions were never far from from the surface, even all these years later.
"While I can't speak for the veterans of the First and Second World Wars, for the Vietnam veterans when we came home nobody spoke about it, your family didn't speak about it, your old work mates didn't ask questions - nobody asked questions," he said.
"That pushed us into a little hole and we became quieter, you didn't speak about your problems or your worries to your family as they grew up.
"Most of the mates I served with were from other states, so there was no-one I came home with. We only formed our Vietnam veterans group in 1987, there was a 20-year gap of not connecting with any of the Vietnam veterans.
"If that group was formed 20 years earlier it would have made such a difference in understanding yourself, that you weren't alone back here in this big world."
He said Remembrance Day was important for remembering the sacrifices of all who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts throughout the years.
"It's a matter of remembering all we have been given to be able to live the way we live," he said.
"War is not a good thing, to me it always extends from greed. People wanting more than what they've got and it escalates into something bigger.
"In the end nobody wins, they're still suffering in Vietnam, as are all the chaps that served in Vietnam, even if they don't seem to be suffering they've still got the memories, and they never go away," he said.
"You can learn to live with them, but you never forget. Today is a day for remembering those that were injured, killed and those who have suffered since coming home, you remember every one."
He turned 22 while patrolling the jungles of Vietnam.
Coming back in 1968 to Sydney, Vietnam War veterans were told they couldn't dock until the end of Anzac Day.
"It was like we didn't count, and it was like that for a long time," Mr Stapleton said.
Belated recognition in the form of a 'welcome home' parade in Sydney in 1987 drew 25,000 people who had served in the conflict and the next-of-kin of those who did not return from the jungles of Vietnam, or had died since.
Mr Stapleton said most Vietnam veterans had not participated in Anzac and Remembrance Day services until that time.
"Times have changed for the better," he said.
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