THE lead-up to Anzac Day reminds Wanneroo veteran Peter Tuck (73) of those he served beside, though commemorations will keep him busy on April 25.
Mr Tuck told the Weekender the week leading into Anzac Day was a time to remember those he served with in Vietnam.
“Anzac Day for me starts about a week before; that’s when I start thinking of mates, what they are up to,” he said. “Then I start thinking about the guys we lost, guys we lost in the battalion itself.
“The lead-up is pretty traumatic; when the day comes, I try to keep myself pretty busy.”
The Wanneroo RSL member raises the flags at the Wanneroo War Memorial every day, and will be organising the flags and march during the Anzac Day service on Wednesday.
He joined the army when he was 15 years old and was an apprentice musician for two years at Balcombe Army Camp in Victoria.
“From there I was posted to the Royal Australian Engineers Band at Kapooka in Wagga Wagga, NSW,” he said. “My next posting was to the 5th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.”
Mr Tuck said he then served in the Vietnam War where “we swapped our instruments for medical kits” as medics.
“We were out with the fighting boys all the time,” he said.
After 12 months, he returned to Puckapunyal in Victoria and a band position.
“I couldn’t settle back into doing the same old, same old so I transferred into medical corps,” he said. “There I stayed for the rest of my time; 20 years all up.”
Mr Tuck said the year spent in Vietnam still felt “like yesterday”.
Mr Tuck said it was important to teach children about wars that had been a big part of Australian history.
The Wanneroo RSL will host its second Dawn Service from 5.45am on April 25, followed by the annual march around the town centre from 7am.
Wanneroo RSL president Jack Le Cras said they expected more people to attend than last year, when about 3000 people attended the first Dawn Service at the Civic Drive memorial.
Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Roslyn Astflack will be the guest speaker and there will be a gunfire breakfast.
Parking at the memorial is restricted to veterans wearing medals and ACROD holders.
What: Dawn Service and march
Where: Wanneroo War Memorial, Civic Drive
When: 5.45am on April 25
More: email email@example.com or call 9409 1014