Fifty years on, the restless ghosts of war still rattle the mind of Greg Kennett.
He remembers distant incidents clearly. He can still see the North Vietnamese soldier who walked round a bend straight towards him and an Australian ambush as he opened fire.
The infantryman in Vietnam talks of events that were "a two way rifle range when someone was trying to shoot you and you were trying to shoot them."
He talks softly, with compassion. Tears fill his eyes as he also remembers the respectful conversation he had many years later with Vietnamese men his own age who were his deadly enemy when they were lads on opposite sides in 1969.
It has been said often that "Anzac Day is about remembering". The sentence has been repeated so often that it might sound like nothing more than a cliched slogan with little weight.
But to talk to Greg Kennett is to realise how important remembering is for him and for his countless comrades.
He's now 70 and lives with his wife in Rivett. But fifty years ago, he was one of the unlucky ones whose names came up on the lottery to serve in the military in Vietnam.
And that's what he did. The ghosts have haunted him ever since. He admits that at times he has been difficult to live with and that he has "self-medicated" through drink.
But today he is reflective and proud. The demons are at bay.
He feels that Anzac Day is part of the healing process for many people who did what their country's elected government asked them to do.
"I'm very proud of my service because I served my country. We were sent there to do a job for our country in our country's uniform for a reason which our government had stated."
He feels pride when he marches in Anzac Day parades and sees people lined up on either side of the road. For him, it is not a glorification of war but a remembrance of those who served, some "to come home in a coffin".
"I would say that it's remembering those who served, particularly those who sacrificed their lives or who became mentally and physically scarred."
It is particularly important for him and his comrades' generation because Vietnam was a controversial war, with mass - but not unanimous - opposition at home. There were widespread protests which returning servicemen witnessed - Mr Kennett said he took that personally.
When he returned to Australia, he said he and his comrades were shunned, even by the Returned and Services League which didn't want them as members. Today, he is welcome, so much so that he's active as the secretary of the Woden Valley sub-branch.
He says that people called them "baby killers".
That hostility didn't really change until the Vietnam "welcome home" march in 1987, two decades after the war. "That was the first public acceptance of Vietnam veterans as veterans. It was very cathartic for us."
It wasn't until 40 years after the war that he could face going back to Vietnam, but when he went another cathartic episode happened.
It was April 30 - "liberation day" in modern Vietnam, marking the victorious end of the war. Mr Kennett was in a group of Western veterans when they saw a group of men about their age in Vietnamese uniforms.
The former enemies got talking to each other. "There was no malice. It was soldier to soldier."
The former Australian warrior said that the former Vietnamese warriors - former Vietcong and North Vietnamese regular soldiers - respected Australian forces and found that they treated prisoners and the dead with respect.
"We buried the ones we killed," said Mr Kennett, "and we always provided medical aid to their wounded and captured."
He is making peace with the past - but demons don't die. "I was involved in 'contacts' and ambushes and we killed a number of people. They were the same age as me and their lives ended then and I'm still alive."
He says today that the main motivation in the heat of battle was to "protect each other - you cared for each other. The safety of the platoon was paramount." Each soldier was a cog in the machine and a failure of one endangered all.
Since Vietnam, there have been other horrible wars - two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan plus other engagements. He says this means there are now about 60,000 veterans, increasingly including women.
And so on Anzac Day, what would he like people to think?
"There's no glory in war. There should be no glorification. It's an opportunity to remember.
"We don't want thanks but we do want recognition. That's why remembrance is so important."