Amid the uniforms, parades and services to mark the 50th anniversary of the end to the Vietnam War, two civilian women will be sitting quietly in the stands, reflecting on how different their role was during the conflict.
Barbara Sutherland was a radiographer at the Prince Henry Hospital in Melbourne when she volunteered to join the little-known Civilian Surgical Medical Team.
Many medically-trained Vietnamese had been called up to support their country's military effort during the war, leaving the hospitals severely understaffed.
As a humanitarian gesture, the Australian and US governments put the call out to medical specialists - doctors, nurses, radiographers and anaethetists - to "backfill" at the hospitals and treat civilians.
Ms Sutherland, who was 26 at the time and had just returned from Europe when she signed on, and was shocked by what she encountered when she arrived during the height of the monsoon season at Long Xuyen, in the Mekong Delta area of South Vietnam.
"It was stinking hot, very high humidity, and poured with rain most days," she said.
"The hospital beds were straw mats and when a patient was admitted, often the whole family would come, too. They would cook meals there and nurse the family member."
Her X-ray equipment was a crude US Army-issue field kit which regularly needed running repairs, as did her creaky air-conditioning unit.
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"We were seeing many medical issues that in Western hospitals were reasonably rare: limb deformities, tuberculosis, cleft palates, thyroid issues," she said.
The civilian teams - nearly 400 in total - rotated in and out of Vietnam as the war raged in the north of the country and slowly crept further south. It was only years later when Ms Sutherland found out the Viet Cong had infiltrated into the south and the armed escorts for the civilian medical staff were not just ceremonial.
While much of the fighting was up north during her six-month rotation in 1966-67, she nonetheless had some "interesting experiences", as she described them, one of which was when the single-engined Air America seven-seater aircraft she was aboard en route to Saigon had a sudden engine failure, had to ditch in a pineapple field, and then came under small arms fire.
"As we were gliding down without power - which was very eerie, I can tell you, because no one on board spoke - the pilot managed to raise the US Army airfield and they sent out a Chinook [helicopter], which was there when we sort-of crash-landed in a field," she said.
"We all clambered out of the plane and ran for the helicopter and heard all this gunfire. I wasn't sure where it was coming from, so I kept my head down."
In recognition of being caught up in that firefight, she received the rare civilian honour a week later of a US Combat Infantry Medal.
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