'History will never die out': Burrum Heads veterans
NICK Brown and George Cross both returned home from serving in the Vietnam War in 1971.
But it wasn't until the Welcome Home parade in Sydney in 1987 the pair could feel proud to call themselves veterans.
The former members of the 161 Independent Recconaissance Flight were among the crowd of veterans, community groups, SES members and residents who marched from the boat ramp to the community centre during the Anzac Day service at Burrum Heads yesterday.
Mr Brown, a transport supervisor with the unit from 1970-71, said returned servicemen experienced a sense of hostility from Australians when they returned from duty.
"It was a job you did that you thought was very important and thought you had the support of Australians back home,” Mr Brown said.
"We learned very early that was not the case.
"Most of us arrived back very late at night and were told not to take our uniforms off and not to wear them... we were proud of our uniforms and found that very hard to take.”
Mr Brown said those days had since passed and all veterans of all conflicts were now welcomed back with open arms.
Mr Cross said celebrating Anzac Day was part of the history for all returned servicemen and said the enduring tradition of the Anzacs would "never die out”.