HE'S overwhelmed and honoured.
Anthony Walker is soaking up the moment after being awarded with an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his service to veterans in the Queen's Birthday honours.
The Portland local served in Vietnam as a medic for 12 months in 1968.
Since 2001 he has been a member of the Bathurst and Districts Sub-Branch, Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and has been the secretary and treasurer since 2003.
He has also been the treasurer of the NSW Branch Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia since 2006.
Mr Walker said originally he wanted nothing to do with the association because of the way service people were treated when they returned home from Vietnam.
"But then someone got me involved and I like it because of the companionship, we've all got something in common and we are all in that age group where we need mates," he said.
In his roles with Vietnam Veterans Mr Walker is responsible organising many events including Veterans Day and camping on Bathurst Race weekend.
"During race weekend that's our main fundraising area. I also organise the Vietnam Veterans Day parade, service, guest speakers and luncheons," he said.
Mr Walker has also been a unique member of Portland Men's Shed since 2014 and secretary since 2016.
"Being associated with these groups has been very fulfilling and it's created a great group of friends in both communities the veteran community and the local men's shed," he said.
"It's really good because the older you get the harder it gets. You out live a lot of people and you need companionship you need mates."
He said it was quite the surprise to be rewarded for his work with an OAM.
"I'm really excited about it and I'm really proud actually, and to think that all these years I've been involved, I've been recognised for it."
Mr Walker wanted to thank those who nominated him and he felt honoured.
"It's all a bit much at the moment, but I'm thankful for it and for living in such a wonderful community," he said.
Awards and recognition include:
- Australian Active Service Medal (Vietnam)
- Anniversary of National Service (1951-1972) Medal
- Vietnam Medal
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
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