Now that Julia Gillard is Prime Minister, I back the call by Victorian state parliamentarian, Peter Kavanagh MLC (Democratic Labour Party), to have a National Sorry Day for Vietnam veterans.
The new Prime Minster is ideally placed to deliver an apology, as the left-wing Socialist Forum she joined was one of the groups most vocal during the previous conflict. Not content with their victory, these groups proceeded to pursue the Vietnam veterans after they came home.
To harass politicians is one thing; but to do so to our servicemen, who were mainly conscripted anyway, is a low act. No wonder many of the Vietnam veterans had repatriation and health problems.
For many of them, with their nerves at breaking point, facing a hostile public at home was the last straw. Hounded by hostile activists, abandoned by a fickle public, many of them felt like outcasts.
On behalf of her party and the nation, Prime Minister Gillard is the right person to give our veterans some closure and heal the wounds inflicted on them.