Forgotten Heroes 2018 is a community songwriting project, inspired by conversations between local Vietnam Veterans and the Dandenong Ranges Music Council.

In 2018, four local RSLs hosted DRMC sessions. The stories and experiences shared were the foundation for the song 'Forgotten Heroes'.

This song reflects Veterans in the current day. It is dedicated to the heard and unheard Veterans of the Vietnam War 1962-1975.

Click on the 'Play' button below to listen to the audio of 'Forgotten Heroes':

Click to download the original soundtrack: 'Forgotten Heroes'

AWM Vietnam performanceNui Dat, South Vietnam, 1969. Australian entertainers perform for the troops.
(image courtesy of Australian War Museum)


Copyright Cath Russell & Peter de Ryk 2018

Verse 1

My father shook me by the hand
I left like many boys before
Australia called us up to fight
Communism was our war
Adventure as a young man
Was setting foot in Vietnam

Verse 2

Nui Dat was our dirt hill
My unit walked in single file
We dug scrapes to sleep at night
In jungle mile after mile
And through our rock and roll war
Our country forgot what they'd sent us for


And you gotta understand
They dragged us through a fire
Burned innocence from our eyes
Boys never come back
And you gotta understand
Who we were when we came back
And who we are now
Forgotten Heroes


We- changed the way
Our country saw us fight
We- changed the way
You value Veterans’ rights
We walked tall through Australia’s regret
We- rebuild our lives, we forgive, we do not forget

Verse 3

We see young veterans at our door
We know the inner soldier’s war
While those who fight are always changed
Society remains the same
Remember this and understand
We offer you our open hand

Forgotten Heroes the teamL to R: Peter de Ryk, John Brown, Jordan Scotney, Cath Russell, Tina Rogers & Bev McAllister

Forgotten Heroes productionDavid Seedsman & Peter de Ryk in the studio


  • DRMC Rep - Bev McAlister
  • Project manager/songwriter/music therapist - Cath Russell
  • Songwriter/keyboards/arranger/producer - Peter de Ryk
  • Vocals - John Brown
  • Guitar - David Seedsman
  • Bass - Tina Rogers
  • Drums - Jordan Scotney

Thanks to:

  • Upwey RSL

  • Bayswater RSL

  • Mt Evelyn RSL

  • Monbulk RSL

  • Outer Eastern Vietnam Veterans Association

Proudly supported by

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RSL logo
Yarra Ranges Council logo

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DRMC Phone: 0424 910 282   |  Email:    |  Mail: PO Box 430, Belgrave VIC 3160

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