Veteran watches grandson march out at Kapooka

Family pride: Vietnam veteran Major Don Cruden (retired) watched his grandson, gunner Marc Jones, march out at Kapooka. Picture: ADF
Family pride: Vietnam veteran Major Don Cruden (retired) watched his grandson, gunner Marc Jones, march out at Kapooka. Picture: ADF

One of the army’s newest soldiers struggled to hold back tears when he saw his family in the crowd at his march-out parade.  

Gunner Marc Jones’ grandfather – a Vietnam veteran – was among those looking on with pride at the Kapooka ceremony in June.

Gnr Jones joined the Army Indigenous Development Program in 2016 and called Wagga home for close to nine months. 

He said his grandfather had been a major influence on his decision to join the army. Major Don Cruden was in the Army from October 1956 to 1977 and served in Malaya, Thai Border, Malaysia, Borneo, and Vietnam.

“Pop was my impression of a proper soldier,” Gnr Jones said. “He was always well-dressed, well-spoken, punctual, and held himself well.”

Gnr Jones said his father had suggested joining the Army as work in Perth was hard to come by. 

“(Dad said the Army) always looked after Aboriginal people, and it would keep me fit,” he said. “Both my great-grandfathers served in the 2nd AIF during World War II.”

Gnr Jones’ grandfather said he felt admiration for his grandson, and all the soldiers on parade.

“They are a mirror of how I was, but better trained,” he said.

“It’s marvellous to see all the changes since I was in the Army, too.”