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Servicemen and branch members honoured

Servicemen and family members of soldiers who passed descended upon the Rocky Creek Nasho Shelter on Sunday to commemorate National Service Day.

The ceremony recognised the servicemen from the Tablelands who served in Australia’s National Service’s 1951-59 scheme, along with the stalwart supporters of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia Tableland Branch.

As each servicemen and long-standing member was individually acknowledged for their commitment to the country and to the branch, loved ones were called up to speak in honour of their passed family member.

They then paid their respects by laying a poppy on the dedicated memorial plaque.

National Servicemen’s Australia Tableland Branch President John Hardy said he was extremely happy with the turn-out.

“It’s great to see so many people despite the recent weather,” he said.

“National Service Day and the memorial plaques unveiled are so important to many people here, and it is crucial we continue to recognise the incredible legacy those honoured today left.”

Mr Hardy said it was particularly important for soldiers who served in the Australia’s National Service’s 1951-1959 scheme to receive their due recognition because of the vitriol they encountered upon returning to Australia.

“National servicemen of that scheme, particularly Vietnam veterans, were scorned when they came home,” he said.

“Their period of service is quite often overlooked and that’s something we are seeking to change.

“With that being said, it is pleasing to see servicemen awarded an Anniversary of National Service 1951-1972 Medal as recognition for their service.

“We’re one of only a few countries in the world that issue you a medal in recognition of service.”

Mr Hardy said he would like to see more 1965-1972 servicemen get involved with the branch.

“Our 1951-1959 Nashos are ageing quite rapidly, so we’re relying on some of those younger servicemen to take the torch and carry the association into the future,” he said.

For those interested in finding out more information on the branch, you can do so by www.nashoqld.org.au

Caption: Family members of soldiers who have passed and former National Servicemen’s Association Tableland Branch members gathered at the Rocky Creek Nasho Shelter to honour their service.

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