The 50th anniversary of the end of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war is to be marked by a series of big events - and the theme is how the veterans who were vilified at the time should now be honoured.
A televised "national commemorative service" is to be held in Canberra next month. A special medal for veterans and their families has been minted. The Australian War Memorial is to extend its opening hours.
"The Australian government is recognising the contribution of our Vietnam veterans, their service in Vietnam and their role as integral members of the ex-service community in the decades since the war," Minister for Veterans' Affairs Matt Keogh said.
It's a transformation of attitudes since 1973 when the six last Australian combat troops, who were guarding the embassy, left the country on June 30.
Richard Stone, who served in the RAAF in Thailand, remembers the hostility. His brother was on HMAS Hobart when it was bombed in mistake by America aircraft.
"He was spat on," Mr Stone said about his brother. "He had his uniform on and his medals."
Rather than being greeted as heroes, Vietnam veterans were booed by protesters. "I do remember the marches and some of the young people were angry if you were in uniform."
In contrast Mr Stone, who has only just retired as an advocate for veterans, said the American habit of praising strangers in uniform has become commonplace. "We even get Americanisms like 'Thank you for your service'." (He says Gladys Berejiklian once greeted him that way).
He joined the RAAF at the age of 15. He emphasises he never went out on patrol - "I'm no hero", he says - but he was on an American base which roared with very heavily armed bombers taking off 24 hours a day and seven days a week. "There were numerous crashes on the airstrip."
He has no regrets. "We were going to do our job. There was good camaraderie."
He had grown up in a children's home where boys got two eggs on their birthdays - two eggs a year. He was amazed - and delighted - that in uniform, he was fed eggs every day and of every variety - boiled, fried, poached.
For him, military life was fine. His brother, though, never really recovered mentally from the hellish experience of being on a ship which was bombed. "He came to Canberra and he soaked the sheets wet with sweat in his nightmares."
His brother is now deceased. Mr Stone remembers him panicking when he went into a coffee shop because it was a very confined space.
Vietnam was Australia's longest conflict in the 20th century.
Its end (for Australia though, not for the Americans who stayed until they were defeated two years later) came on January 11, 1973. On that date, the Governor-General formally proclaimed the ending of Australia's participation.
Some 60,000 Australians served, 15,300 of them conscripts. More than 3,000 were wounded and 523 lost their lives.
Apart from the ceremonies, a medal is being minted.
"The obverse design features the Commonwealth Coat of Arms with 'Vietnam War' inscribed at the top and 'Australia Remembers' at the bottom," according to the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
"The reverse side features words of thanks at the bottom with the years 1962-73 inscribed at the top to represent the years in which Australia was involved in the Vietnam War."
The Australian War Memorial is planning events and displays, and extended hours for visitors. "On Vietnam Veterans' Day on the 18th of August, we are pleased to be offering extended hours on the Friday night and early morning on the Saturday," the AWM's Dan Hiscock said.
"We are welcoming Vietnam veterans back, 50 years on, to the Australian War Memorial not only to see the exhibits but to say thank you for what they did."
"We look forward to welcoming our Vietnam veterans and their families. We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge their service," the AWM's director Matt Anderson said.