We will remember them

Gary Ryan at Geelong RSL. (Louisa Jones) 235062_14

By Luke Voogt

Every Anzac Day Corio veteran Gary Ryan remembers mates he lost in the Vietnam War.

“We lost a couple of guys and had quite a number wounded,” he said

“You were more afraid of being wounded, in some ways, than being killed.”

Conscripted as a national serviceman in 1968, Mr Ryan remembered patrolling the Vietnamese jungle in 1970 and being shot at by Viet Cong.

“You hit the ground as quickly as you can,” he said.

“When I came home there was only a dozen of us on the plane. We were discharged and that was it.”

“A lot of guys came home with problems but I don’t think it impacted on me.”

Mr Ryan has marched in Geelong every Anzac Day since returning 13 years ago to the city where he grew up, except when COVID-19 halted services last year.

“It’s good to get together again – especially with COVID last year – we haven’t seen some of our mates for a year,” he said.

“Anzac Day is very important for us, as we get older, to catch up.”