'Harrowing': Veteran recalls the Vietnam War
PROTECTING his country and the people in it was a prime consideration when Jim Dean joined the Australian Army in 1962.
Six years later, he was sent to the Vietnam War with the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) divisional supply and transport group.
"I was a battalion armourer, I used to fix weapons," Jim said.
"I kept them going so they could go shoot the enemy."
Jim describes his 12 months in Vietnam as a "workshop person", based at Vung Tau, as "harrowing".
"Afterwards I went to Malaysia for two-and-a-half years with the battalion," he said.
"We were keeping the peace. It was the end of the Malaysia skirmish 1973-75."
Jim served in the army for 25 years, and says it gave him a career.
"I started out with nothing and ended up an engineer," he said.
"When I came back, I joined 41 Battalion in Lismore - they were reserves - I did 10 years with them."
Now retired, Jim is the president of the Casino RSL Sub Branch.
He and other branch members are preparing for Anzac Day 2018, to be held on April 25.
Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day is the anniversary of the landing of troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915.
Casino sub-branch secretary Owen Newell said most of the current members served in Vietnam and Korea.
"I served in reserves for six years and consider Anzac Day to be extremely significant," Mr Newell said.
"My father was in New Guinea in World War II. He would've been 101 this year."
Descendants of veterans, schoolchildren and a band will join current and former armed forces personnel in the Anzac Day commemoration in Casino.
The dawn service starts at 5.30am at the Casino RSM Club, while the march to the main service forms up at Graham Place at 10.15am and finishes at Casino RSM Club.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend each service.
Anzac Day services will be held across the Northern Rivers.
Check with your nearest RSL Sub Branch for service times.