One of Wagga's younger veterans has welcomed the launch of a new annual ceremony and said he hopes it can be used to shine a light on the struggles still faced by many veterans across the region.
About 50 residents, veterans and community leaders attended the inaugural post-1975 conflict commemoration at the Victory Memorial Gardens on Friday morning.
The ceremony, which was organised by the Wagga RSL sub-branch, is the very first time those who participated in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other conflicts within the past 46 years have been commemorated in their own ceremony.
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East Timor veteran Raymond Smith said it was good to see the actions of veterans acknowledged but he hoped the event would also help draw attention to the conflicts many veterans still face on a daily basis.
"Everyone being respected is a good thing and I think it is important for those that were in these recent conflicts to have that recognition," Mr Smith said.
"But we've got veterans that need help badly because they're homeless, suicidal and in psychiatric wards."
"They're the ones that should be respected - not just the ones with medals."
Mr Smith hoped more notice would be given to veterans that the event is taking place in the future so that more can attend.
"I didn't find out about it until last minute and unfortunately a lot of people weren't notified otherwise there would have been more people turn up," he said.
"But this is honouring the life and the departure of loved ones through the history of the Australian Defence Force and let's respect every veteran for what they are."
RSL Sub-Branch vice president Ken May said the event was important to hold as it provided recognition for a significant group of veterans who are currently without a day to call their own.
"Through Anzac Day and Remembrance Day we remember all wars, but we also have separate commemorations for things like Korea and Vietnam," Mr May said.
"I just think these guys, the younger veterans, they deserved recognition which is specifically for them and that's what this commemoration was all about."
Mr May said he was happy with how the day went and he extended his thanks to all those who attended.
"I think it went pretty well and I was pleasantly surprised by the crowd," he said.
"There was quite a few of the post-1975 veterans which was good to see and I was hoping there would be even more."
Earlier this week, Afghanistan veteran Nigel McMullen said it was a "special feeling" to have a day acknowledging the city's young veterans.
Veterans needing support can call Open Arms on 1800 011 046, or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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