Vietnam Memorial Remarks

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The Hon Andrew Hastie MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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Ella Kenny 0437 702 111

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19 May 2021

It’s a very special day. It’s a day where we acknowledge the bravery of Lieutenant Tony Jensen, I acknowledge Tony, [inaudible] and the rest of his family who are here today and also those who bore arms with him on that day, 52 years ago.

The Australian people have always had an implied covenant with those who serve us at arms. That covenant was upheld after World War One, World War Two, Korea, but it was broken with those who went to Vietnam. It was a disgrace the way we treated our veterans.

It's been a long journey to restore that covenant with our Vietnam veterans, from 1987 [inaudible] part of the way, but there are still things left undone and today is significant because we acknowledge Tony and those who fought alongside him at the battle of Coral Balmoral where 26 Australians died, and more than 100 were wounded over a 26 day period.

So I'm here on behalf of the government with Jim, and with my Shadow Minister - Shadow Minister Shane Newman, to acknowledge you and to acknowledge Tony and to say thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

I know as a veteran myself, who has served with 1RAR, being a cavalryman attached to 1RAR - we love the Big Blue One, but as a veteran myself it's what you've done - our forebears - that have given me and others strength overseas as we continued that tradition of service.

So thank you very much, and I look forward to seeing you with that medal on your chest.


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