I woke this morning with feelings of gratitude and relief.

My gratitude was to our army, navy and Air Force personnel.

Thank you to all Defence Force personnel and their families past and present for your commitment to serving our country, its people and for keeping Australia safe. Thank you too for overseas service that has helped liberate those who have been subjugated and forced to live in inhumane and oppressive situations.

I also woke with feelings of personal relief. I was just thinking this morning on this Anzac Day about how lucky people like me who did not have their birthdays drawn in the “Vietnam Raffle” happened to be.

That was all about an Australian crawl up America’s political backside and for what end result! The Vietnam conflict was a no brainer and for years our defence force contributors were reviled and figuratively ‘spat upon’ in its aftermath.

The first more positive recognition of Vietnam Veterans was 20 years too late. So many soldiers were destroyed in body, soul and spirit by what was little more than Australian political whimsicalness and an overwhelming desire to curry favour with an ally that has started more wars on Earth than any other nation.

Those whose birthday marbles stayed in the barrel had an opportunity to grow up in a regular societal environment, pursue normal occupations, be a part of regular family pursuits and to remain unsullied by the horrors of Vietnam.

Those who were drawn to undertake military conscription involving training and assignment to Vietnam have in far too many instances, been reduced to destroyed souls.

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