A group of veterans sit together at the Warrnambool RSL, sipping hot coffee as they overlook Lake Pertobe's wetlands.
The majority are Vietnam veterans, although not all of them served in the army at the same time.
War brought the men together but they rarely spend time reflecting on that.
The ex-servicemen discuss golf and current affairs, they tell funny stories and reminisce on recent holidays or ones from years ago.
When asked why they've gathered together, the answer is unanimous: for the camaraderie.
"And to talk s***", a few of them add.
You'll find the group at the Warrnambool RSL every Thursday at 10am.
Sometimes 10 men rock up, other times 20.
Warrnambool former national serviceman Ken Cumming said it had been more than 50 years since the start of the Vietnam War but a lot of those who returned were still yet to make "good civilian friends".
"Us veterans, we relate to each other. We speak the same language," he said.
"When we get together, we don't have to talk about the war or the bad things that we saw but we just have a laugh and a joke about all the funny stuff that happened to us along the way."
Mr Cumming said it was nice to be in "good company with those who really understand you".
"When we came back to Australia, to Warrnambool, our local guys - my mates - we felt like a fish out of water. It's a terrible feeling that you're not welcomed and you're not respected for what you did for your country," he said.
"A lot of us were drafted, we didn't volunteer but were conscripted by the birthday ballot, and yet you come back and feel like you don't belong."
The return to civilian life is tough but the shared hardships have created an unbreakable bond between veterans, Mr Cumming said.
"And it doesn't matter which conflict it was, whether it's Vietnam, Second World War or Afghanistan, veterans are unique in as much as they are like brothers," he said.
"We ate together, fought together, and we would give you the shirt off our back. It's camaraderie and a mateship that you don't find as strong in civilian life.
"It's a friendship that is never ending. We will be mates until the day we die."
The group's weekly ritual was even more special ahead of Anzac Day.
Mr Cumming said every year he and his mates reflected on the "supreme sacrifice made by those who lost their lives in Vietnam, and every war".
"You can ask any of our veterans and they'd say the same thing about Anzac Day - we remember," he said.
"We remember those who died while serving their country and those who have passed away since."
Mr Cumming will attend Monday's Anzac Day march in Melbourne with his friend Peter Thompson, who he shared a tent with during deployment.
"Every year we alternate between Warrnambool and Melbourne, it's something we've been doing for 54 years," he said.
Warrnambool veteran Jeff Rundell said last year's dawn service was spent at his letter box with a candle in hand after the traditional ceremony was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the weekly catch-ups for coffee were also put on hold during the COVID-enforced lockdowns.
"It was hard to stay isolated so it's very good to be back," he said.
Mr Rundell, who enlisted in the army when he was 21 and served in Vietnam in 1969, said he enjoyed getting together with his mates to converse about "everything and nothing at the same time".
"It's a good outlet for us to just get together and chat, it's not very high-brow stuff," he said.
A highlight of Mr Rundell's army career was watching the 1969 moon landing during his deployment.
"I was in Vietnam and I watched it on a black and white TV," he said.
"I just thought, it's amazing that they can do that."
Brian Mathers, who was deployed to Vietnam in mid-1970, has barely missed a Thursday catch-up at the iconic RSL building.
"It was difficult (during the pandemic). I missed my old mates," he said as he playfully shook the shoulders of his friend Allan Bryant.
"I'm mainly here for the banter, the leg-pulling."
Mr Mathers will attend the Anzac Day dawn service at Warrnambool before heading to the Terang RSL for a 55-year reunion for Vietnam veterans.
He'll be joined at the dawn service by Warrnambool RSL committee member Bernie Farley - another familiar face drinking coffee on a Thursday morning.
Mr Farley gave 30 years of service to the Australian Defence Force over a 42-year period.
"After that, I had a sense of responsibility to give back to our young veterans and help them through their hardships at an early stage," he said.
"The RSL has been really good to me, my family and my wife (Carmel)."
The veterans used to meet for a hit of golf but they soon learnt they preferred the warmth of the RSL, the strength of the coffee and occasionally trying their luck at Keno.
It was about three years ago when it all started and David Shangie has been having a coffee with his mates "on and off" ever since.
"I don't always come but when I do, I enjoy the mateship," he said.
"If keeps us a bit young even though we're all getting older."
For others, it's just a good reason to get out of the house.
"If I stay home, the wife will find me something to do," former RSL president Jeff Maddocks joked.
But the idea wasn't always for everyone, including veteran and legatee Gavan Nevill .
"At the beginning I wasn't keen to attend," he said.
"But of course I did and I'm still here so I obviously love it.
"The chit-chat and the banter, it's very good."
Mr Nevill will attend the Anzac Day dawn service, followed by a lunch at the Warrnambool RSL and then a service at Warrnambool Legacy House.
As the clock nears 11.30am, the clinking of coffee cups quietens and the men start to rise from their seats, they all agree on one thing - they love their Thursday mornings together.
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