Former Hervey Bay locals Wayne and Dawn Nielsen.
Former Hervey Bay locals Wayne and Dawn Nielsen. Alistair Brightman

Vietnam veteran: 'I was spat on, called a child killer'

FOLLOWING his service in Vietnam, Wayne Nielsen expected standing ovations when he came home.

Instead, he was spat on and told to leave by the crowd when he arrived in Townsville in 1969.

It was an experience that shook Mr Nielsen, who recalled having a "chip on his shoulder" for many years, given the effort he and his comrades had made overseas.

"We got spat on, called child killers and women killers, and it just wasn't true... I got told to leave the country I fought for," he said.

"I guess I carried a chip on my shoulder for the country, the government not recognising us when we returned. A lot of us went into our shells, and we suffered a lot."

But it was the efforts of the RSL that helped him embrace the Anzac spirit and come to terms with his feelings.

"I've now realised the comradery and friendships that were made in the Vietnam War are lifelong ones, and we'll always have each other," he said.
 



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