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New Plaques - Tony Dawes - Gene Owens - Rev Horst Sauer - Lester Soblusky - John Gehle - 42RQR - Crusher - BBQ, VVMC NQ - Jeff Morris - Kevin Lawson - Long Tan Tree - ANZAC baby - Long Tan Baby - Flashback - Engraver - Gayle & Sue - Jarvis Bay Visitors - Emu Park RSL - Fund raiser - 2008 Photos - Yeppoon VVDay - The War Within


With gray clouds and a cooler than normal day, Veterans slowly arrived and the numbers built up and by 1100 Cockscomb Veterans Camp Inc was host to about 220 attending the 42nd Anniversary of Long Tan Day.  This service is held at Cockscomb every year at 11am on the 18th Aug, be it a weekday or the weekend.  The service is open to all serving and ex services, their families, our war widows and legacy ladies and the public.  It is a day to remember the 504 Australians who died during Australias commitment to Vietnam.  It also remembers all those who have died since Vietnam.

This year three new names were added to our Memorial.  Jason Paul Marks a local Yeppoon man was killed during a firefight with Taliban fighters southeast of Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan province, Afghanistan, and with his families permission we have added his name to the face of our Memorial.  Lance Corporal Marks was only 27 years of age and yet had already been a member of the Australian Defence Force for almost a decade. Having enlisted in 1999, he had served the 4th Field Regiment as a gunner and as a medical assistant to the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps.





















Let them rest in peace - Lest We Forget

In 2005 Jason realised a lifelong dream in joining the Sydney based 4th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment - the Commandos. It was as a Commando that he came to serve in Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group. He was a career soldier, and the Commandos represented the pinnacle of what he wanted to accomplish.  Four soldiers were wounded by small arms fire in the same action that took the life of Lance Corporal Marks


Tony Dawes
At 11am Tony Dawes ex 104 Sig Sqn called the parade to attention and spoke briefly of his disgust in the handling of a MediVac which was delayed and consequencly cost another Australian his life.  It would never have happened in Vietnam with 9Sqn he said. 

As Paul Copeland, Warrant Officer Class 2 (Retired) RASigs 1981-2001, Special Forces 1990-1993 wrote, “It would appear that even the ADF does not know of the authorized rank of SIGNALMAN.  SIG Sean McCarthy was a highly trained Communications Specialist in Electronic Warfare within the Corps of Signals, posted to 152 Signal Squadron, SASR.  The Regiment, or even more so Special Operations Command (SOCOM) across the range of Signals units and members under its command, nickname all RASigs Communicators with the term of endearment of “Chook”. 
This nickname is used for beret qualified and non-beret qualified RASigs members of SOCOM.  Sean was non-beret qualified, serving in SASR.  This does not make him lesser of a soldier.  Others may also be interested to know that SIG Jock Wallace of 152 Signal Squadron was awarded the Medal of Gallantry (MG) for his actions in OPERATION ANACONDA in Afghanistan.  Jock was too a non-sandy beret member of the SAS.
"Rest in Peace Sean–you served your country well.”

The Official Report released 9 Oct 2008 reads "The Inquiry Officer’s Report into the death of Signaller Sean McCarthy was released today. The inquiry sought to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding Signaller McCarthy’s death in Afghanistan on 8 July this year. Vice Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley said, "Signaller McCarthy was an elite soldier, a member of the Special Air Service Regiment, who was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan." "This inquiry was directed by the Chief of Defence Force and led by an experienced officer with the assistance of legal, medical and investigative specialists," Lieutenant General Hurley said. The Inquiry Officer’s Report found that Signaller McCarthy died from massive wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated under the Long Range Patrol Vehicle he was travelling in. The Inquiry Officer found that the Aero-Medical Evacuation process was conducted within timings specified by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and agreed to by Australia. The Inquiry Officer also found that no equipment, personnel or process contributed to Signaller McCarthy’s death. The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal, Angus Houston has recommended and the Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, has agreed that a Commission of Inquiry into the death of Signaller McCarthy is not required. The Chief of Defence Force has agreed to all six of the recommendations put forward by the Inquiry Officer. "

Gene Owens
Rev Horst Sauer

Gene Owens Ex 21 Supply Platoon RAASC followed as guest speaker keeping his speech short. 
The Reverend Horst Sauer who used the first two lines of our National Anthem
“Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free…” and we can rejoice and are free because young Australians before us have fought for our freedom and paid for it with their lives.  He went on to bless our three new plaques, our troops overseas and their families left behind.  I have taken the liberty to invite Horst to attend Vietnam Veterans day each year as our adopted Padre and he has accepted the offer.


Lester Soblusky 2008
Now Lester Soblusky has been on the Pipes most of his life and Lester has told me to never hesitate to ask him to play at any service we arrange.
Lester in 2007

John Gehle
Ex 547 Sig troop played Last Post followed by Lester Soblusky on the bagpipes with the lament.  Lester has been playing the pipes all his life and our service wouldn’t be the same without Lester.
John Gehle

Thank you again to 42RQR who were able to assist us again this year with tent shade and chairs and most important the Memorial Guard.  Left to right Sapper John Beavan & Sapper Stev Gross 35 Field Sqn,Cpl Stephen Wooler and L/Cpl Benjamin Kneen with service in the Solomons and Cpl Eddie Ward with a Long Service Medal and from 31/42 RQR  
We must remember to thank all who made the day a success.  And not only our own Veterans, but some of the outside volunteers like Jordan who tirelessly worked all day on the can crusher
The BBQ on the day was organised by Tony, Geoff, Alan, Dan and Jeff and of course the Veterans wives and partners.  We catered for 240 peaple and not much food was left over, considering the War Widows were unable to attend.  We had the jam drops and ANZAC biscuits for morning tea, BBQ for lunch and cake and custard for sweets.  Along with any amount of tea and coffee,  water and refreshments for those who prefered it.
Dan Connollyand
Jeff Morris
Special visitors on the 17th to the 19th were 15 members of the North Queensland Vietnam Veteran Motor Cycle Club
5 Vietnan Veterans and 10 Associate and Support Members. 

Top Rocker

President Razor Ryan said that to become a member a person had to be a Vietnam Veteran and had to join on probation for 12 months.  After 6 months and a 100% vote from existing members the new member was awarded a Top Rocker and after 12 months and again a 100% vote the patch was awarded.  This group made camp behind the Dennis Murray kitchen and enjoyed their stay as much as we enjoyed having them there.  The NQ VVMC go to a different town each year for ANZAC Day and Vietnam Vets Day

Jeff Morris provided First Aid on the day.  Jeff has been a member of Saint John Ambulance for at least 30 years after serving in Malaya

Jeff arrived with a full kit for any emergency and fortunately we had a problem free day.  Jeff didn’t wait for something to happen, he got stuck in with the cooks in the Dennis Murray kitchen and helped with the cooking.  Thanks Jeff!

Jeff Morris

Kevin Lawsons Grand Daughter Zoe who is
only 4yrs old gave us a solo bracket of songs.

Each year a tree is planted at the Kershaw Gardens Vietnam Memorial.  This year a Acacia Chisolmii which grows well in Central Queensland was planted in honour of Jason Marks, Tom Cook and Anthony Jones

The two flags represent Private Kevin Prior and Private Jim Cox who were killed in Vietnam and came from the Rockhampton area, and left to right, Vietnam Veterans - Phil Aplin, Nick Quigley OAM, Neil Brewer, Tom Platts, Robert Busch, Gardner Paul Baker and Acting Mayor Rose Swadling

For many years, probably at least, the last 20 years the CQVVAA has presented a bouquet of flowers and a certificate to the mother of the first born baby on Vietnam Veterans Day and ANZAC Day.  The family is also presented with a teddy bear for the baby to enjoy later.

Congratulations to Jacqueline and Michael Conaghan with their first child born on the
18 Aug 2008 at 0637,
a baby boy, Jezz Michael Conaghan weighing in at 5lb 4oz or 2385Grams

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Anthony Sinclair for their second baby Cooper Sinclair. 7lbs 3ozs, 53cms, brother for Kyan, 22months. and born on 25th April 2008 ANZAC Day


Visiting us from Jarvis Bay for the second year running
was L to R Lesley and Greg Kelleher and
Barbara and Glen Maher
Gayle and Sue teamed up and ensured the tea and coffee, cakes, buscuits, and the washing up was taken care of at the main kitchen.  Gayle is Geoff Baines partner and Sue is Phil Selbys other half. Thank you girls
The posts around the BaMeBa and this little group found it very practicle, Darryl, Ron and Brian from Emu Park RSL. Thanks to the Emu Park RSL for a donation of a meat tray for the raffle
  Entertainment on the day was provided by Flashback Duo, ph 0413259300 with some great songs and music from the 60s & 70s
Each year we have had our engraving done by Norm Graff Glenmore Road.  Ph 49274329 Norm has our supply of Dog Tags and the expertise to keep our plaques looking the same on the Memorial.
Vietnam Veterans day is a good fundraiser and these funds are used to pay for the essentual items in the running of Cockscomb.  Things like gas, fuel, repairs, comodities for the toilets, showers, kitchens, insurance and sometimes water
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