Growing up, celebrating my Dad’s birthday was not like most birthday celebrations. We didn’t serve him breakfast in bed. We didn’t have birthday cake after a barbecue with friends.
Instead, my Dad went to the Dawn service for ANZAC Day. He then spent the rest of the day at the local RSL club with fellow veterans.
He had never spoken of Vietnam, not really, and I was hesitant to ask him about it. But, when I studied Vietnam in Year 11 Modern History, I asked my Dad about his experiences in the war. We sat at the kitchen table for hours. I sat quietly, in shock, in horror. I absorbed what must have been a fraction of the pain emanating from my Dad as he explained what he had endured.