Vern Bechaz framed the vast collection of medals now on display at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum. Ms034316

Vern Bechaz framed the vast collection of medals now on display at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum. Ms034316

TWO local Vietnam veterans will be making an appearance on your letters and envelopes after being officially commemorated in stamp form by Australia Post.
A series of stamps and collectors’ items are being released by Australia Post as a tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, featuring local Vietnam veterans John Methven and Doug Arnold.
To celebrate, the National Vietnam Veterans Museum on Phillip Island is hosting an exhibition, Unsung Stories, displaying the images and stories behind the stamps.
The exhibition was officially opened on Tuesday, October 18 by Bass MP Brian Paynter.
“This museum is a national treasure,” Mr Paynter said.
“You can feel all the work that has gone into putting this exhibition together.”
“The whole collection is just so brilliant,” Mr Methven said.
When asked how he felt to be commemorated on a stamp, veteran Doug Arnold said it was a phone call that took him by surprise.
“When I was first contacted and asked if I wanted to be on a national stamp, I thought someone was having me on! But it’s an honour. I’m humbled.”
It took 10 years for volunteers to amass the collection of medals that is on display at the museum, as part of the exhibition.
“A lot of these medals were sourced from private collections and museums from all over the world,” said Vern Bechaz, who framed all the medals for the museum.
“A lot came from American museums and collections.”
The exhibition includes photographs, documents, and medals, as well as copies of the Australia Post stamps featuring Mr Methven and Mr Arnold.
Unsung Stories also features the little known story of Private John Densley and his mother Christina, flown by the Australian Government to her son’s bedside in Saigon after a sniper’s bullet nearly took his life, and the tragic tale of Private Errol Noack; controversially, the first conscripted soldier to die.
The Unsung Stories exhibition will be on display at the museum from Wednesday, October 19 until April 30, 2017.