Natimuk resident Rob Ellis will celebrate this Anzac Day with a phone call to his mates he fought alongside with during the Vietnam War.
At 19 years old, Mr Ellis was conscripted for National Service and sent to the jungle warfare training centre in Canungra, Queensland.
"Training at Canungra was tough and realistic ... it gave us an understanding of what Vietnam would be like," he said.
"At the time I was reinforcement waiting for someone to come home to take their place ... sitting around I felt like I was wasting my time."
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Mr Ellis was finally called to serve and completed a month of acclimatisation in Vietnam and posted to the Seventh Battalion for six months.
"Before deployment I didn't even know where Vietnam was," he said.
"The platoon had lost a lot of guys ... being a replacement they didn't really accept me at the start, which was a bit hard."
Mr Ellis was then sent to the Defence and Employment Platoon of Headquarters to finish his tour of duty.
His unit experienced an ambush on June 12, 1971.
"We lost seven blokes in the tragic incident ... myself and two other soldiers also got wounded," he said.
Mr Ellis was sent home a month later and remembers arriving at Sydney in the middle of the night to avoid the anti-war protests and publicity.
"The hardest part was readjusting to normal life ... trying to 'forget' and go back to business as usual," he said.
This year traditional Anzac Day ceremonies have been cancelled all across Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Mr Ellis said everyone should still take the time to reflect on the people who sacrificed their life for Australia.
"On Anzac Day I will ring my two mates who were also injured in the ambush," he said.
"They live in Western Australia and NSW and we occasionally meet up.
"We especially call each other on the 12th of June."
Former navy chief Michael Harris will show his respects on Anzac Day by lighting a candle at the end of his driveway.
The Horsham resident joined the navy at the age of 17 and spent 21 years travelling on Cricket-class destroyers and amphibious ships.
"It wasn't a cruise, but working on a ship was fantastic," he said.
"You are living in such close proximity with everybody and you go through everything together.
"As you would say, 'we are all in the same boat'."
Mr Harris toured with the navy to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, America, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.
He completed goodwill visits to various foreign ports and helped communities in third world countries.
The hardest challenge for Mr Harris was spending time away from his family.
"When you're married with children being apart can be tough," he said.
Mr Harris said he would write letters to home because they didn't have mobile phones or the internet during that time.
"The mail would always get lost and turn up six months later ... you were always playing catch-up," he said.
Mr Harris said Anzac Day was important. "It's a big day not only for serving members and vets, but also families of surviving members and families of those who have been before," he said.
"On a more personal note it's also a time to remember my mates who served us and those who aren't with us anymore ... that hits home the most."
Mr Harris said everyone should go out to the end of their driveway, light a candle and listen to a service on the radio or TV.
"They have made more sacrifices than we have ever made," he said.
"They are legends."
RSL sub-branches across the Wimmera will not host their own public Anzac Day services, instead a small dawn service will be broadcast from Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
President of the Horsham RSL Bob Lockwood has described the cancellation of Anzac Day ceremonies "devastating", but said he believed preserving human life is "a lot more important."
People can still be involved in commemorating the day from home through the 'stand in your driveway' campaign.
The campaign encourages Australians to stand in their driveways, balconies, patios, and front yards at 6am for a minute's silence to pay your respects and show your Anzac Spirit.
Mr Lockwood is hoping members of his community participate to remember those who have fallen and served for our country.
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