Veterans of the Vietnam War, family, friends and supporters will gather ahead of Anzac Day to pay their respects to those lost in the conflict and recognise all those who served.
The Illawarra sub-branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia will hold the service at 4pm on Saturday, April 24 at the Vietnam memorial on Flagstaff Hill.
"We're not here to celebrate war, but we commemorate those that we've lost, and mateship," president and veteran Ian Birch said.
With many in the sub-branch also members of RSLs, Mr Birch said, the service was held on the 24th to allow them to attend other services and marches on Anzac Day.
Each year the sub-branch dedicates plaques at the memorial in memory of veterans who have died in the past year.
This year there will be three new plaques, honouring the lives of Private Neil Clement Hunter, who served from 1967 to 1968; engine room artificer Kevin Lightowlers, who served in 1972; and engineering mechanic Edward Filippetti, who served from 1970 to 1972.
Australia joined the Vietnam War in 1962, and the country's participation ended 11 years later.
In all, 521 Australians lost their lives in the war and more than 3000 were wounded.
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David Bessell, a Vietnam veteran and member of the Illawarra sub-branch, said it was also important to remember the impact the war had on the Vietnamese people.
The Vietnamese government estimates up to two million civilians alone were killed in the conflict.
Mr Birch said the Vietnamese community in Wollongong had been very supportive of the local veterans, and helped fundraise for the memorial on Flagstaff Hill.
Earlier this week, members of the sub-branch cleaned the memorial ahead of this weekend's service.
While there, Mr Birch said, a woman visited with her son and daughter-in-law.
One of her sons died after his return from service in Vietnam.
Mr Birch said the woman placed a knitted poppy on the plaque bearing her son's name and sat there quietly for a time.
"That's why we keep going," he said.
Members of the wider community are invited to attend the service.
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