Rotary Club of Ballarat

"Anzac Reflection" 21st April 2022 Gallery

"Anzac Reflection"

Rotarian David McGhee spoke of wars that Australia has been involved with and the devastation war causes.

Boer War 1899-1902 Over 600 Australians died during the Boer War and graves in South Africa can be found for many of the Australians.

World War 1 1914-1918 Over 60,000 Australians lost their lives and 137,000 were wounded.

World War II. 1931-1945 Over 27,000 Australians were killed and 23,000 wounded in action during World War II. In addition, hundreds more servicemen and women were killed
and injured in accidents during the war.

Korean War 1950-1953 Over 17,000 Australians served during the Korean War, of which 340 were killed and over 1,216 wounded. A further 29 become prisoners of war.

Vietnam War 1965-1973 more than 60,000.00 Australians served in the Vietnam war.
The total of 500 deaths comprises 426 battle casualties and 74 non-battle casualties.

David was a Lance-Bombardier, 4th Field Regiment who served in Vietnam, he spoke of the legacy this war had on the people of Vietnam and those who fought in this war.

1. Napalm: Throughout the duration of the war, 1965 - 1973, eight million tons of bombs were dropped over Vietnam; this was more than three times the amount used in WWII.Napalm caused severe burns all over the body, skin becomes covered with viscous magma that resembles tar. Napalm
causes wounds that are too deep to heal. In contact with humans, it immediately stuck to the skin and melted the flesh. Tragically many Vietnamese were in the line of the drops.

2. Agent Orange: In cases where exposure to chemicals in Vietnam has led to ill health linkages between herbicide exposure and some cancers. More than three decades after the Vietnam War ended, the Vietnamese people continue to live with the consequences of Agent Orange.
Nearly 4.8 million Vietnamese people have been exposed, causing 400,000 deaths; the associated illnesses include cancers, birth defects, skin disorders, auto-immune diseases, liver disorders, psychosocial effects, neurological defects, and gastrointestinal diseases.

Here in Australia, where almost 60,000 troops served in the war, a growing number of veterans, their children and now grandchildren believe they're battling with the effects of Agent Orange exposure.

3. Post war physical and mental injuries post- traumatic stress (PTSD)

President Alan thanked David for this special address to show us how lifechanging life can be for those who have served our country.