Anzac Day for young and old
Dave Singer, 24k and Mitch Edwick, 52, will march at the front of the ANZAC Day parade in Perth this year. Picture: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Dave Singer and Mitch Edwick are not your stereotypical war veterans but they will be among those leading this year's Anzac Day parade through Perth for the first time.

For 24-year-old Mr Singer, who joined the army at 18 and served in Afghanistan, it is recognition young veterans like him do exist.

As an ex-serviceman and peacekeeper who was injured on duty in Cambodia, Mr Edwick hopes the march will signal an end to discrimination against younger veterans.

The 52-year-old recalls being turned away when he tried to get medical help as a young veteran in his 20s by hospital staff who assumed he could not possibly have been injured in service.

Returned and Services League WA president WA Graham Edwards this year asked post-Vietnam War veterans if they would like to lead this year's parade.

"It means a lot to me because it feels like the older veterans are starting to welcome in younger veterans," Mr Edwick said.

Mr Edwick, of Nollamara, was seriously injured when blown into a shell hole while serving as an air force peacekeeper in Cambodia in the 1990s.

Mr Singer, from Wembley Downs, did a tour in Afghanistan in 2009-10 with the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment based in Mirabad Valley, where troops often fought insurgents.

"It's all about recognising younger veterans, given they are a growing body of people, and putting them in the eye of the public," he said.

Mr Singer, a member of North Beach RSL sub branch, said the veteran community was growing because so many people were deployed to the Middle East and other conflicts.

"They are a growing presence in the community, so that results in more people knowing veterans and being more aware of what these people have done," he said.

Mr Edwards said there was a good response to his call for younger veterans to lead this year's parade with the centenary of WWI about to dominate Anzac Day.

The West Australian

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