Commemorating Vietnam Veterans Day today, Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans' Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, acknowledged the significant and long lasting impacts of war on veterans, their families and the wider community.
"As we remember those veterans who went to Vietnam in our name, we also need to recognise that serving in a conflict zone has deep and long lasting impacts - both socially and economically - on those directly involved, but also on their families and the wider community.
"When our Vietnam veterans returned home, many of them struggled - and still do today - from debilitating conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
"There are thousands of Australians who served or are still serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know that many of them will experience the ongoing effects of conflict and it is imperative that we provide them with adequate support services when they get home.
"As a community, we must acknowledge the consequences of their service and must ensure that veterans and their families receive the care and support they need, not only for their mental health but also for housing, finance, employment and physical rehabilitation.
"If we are willing to send people off to serve Australia in conflict zones on our behalf, we have responsibility to care for them properly when they return."