Proceeds from book will go towards soldiers past, present
ALTHOUGH he attended Anzac Day parades long after serving in the Vietnam War, Lance Corporal Ivan Williamson never marched or wore medals on his chest.
It wasn't until 10 years ago he was able to feel "pride" for his service.
His daughter, Springfield Lakes resident Julie Miller, has penned her first book and plans to donate all proceeds to assist soldiers past and present.
"He'd had a pretty rough time when he came home (from Vietnam)," Ms Miller said.
A decade ago, a few of his mates were gathering to start marching in Perth but Mr Williamson said he'd rather stand in the crowd.
"They wouldn't have it, they wouldn't let him," Ms Miller said.
"They said 'you're going to come march with us'. They actually had a set of medals that were the same ones that he should have been wearing that he was awarded. They put the medals on him and they made him march with them.
"It was a really beautiful moment to see that pride and that recognition and to see my dad actually feel pride for what he'd done and his service."
It was around that time she was searching for a book to share with her children about why Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are such important dates on the calendar.
Ms Miller has a strong connection to the Anzacs; both her grandfathers served in World War Two and her great-great uncle died in World War One with his name adorning the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial.
Remember, written under the name J.E. Miller, is told from the perspective of a young child at an Anzac Day march wondering what it's all about.
"And so they go and step into shoes of all different people that he sees to get an understanding of why they're here," she said.
"It is a children's book but I have presented it to many times now to young veterans, and Mates4Mates, and to lots of veterans and time and time again I keep hearing it isn't just for children," she said.
"Veterans are really loving the story. It's quite emotional. I can't read it from cover to cover without choking up."
She plans to donate all proceeds to the RSL and will launch the book in the Frank McGreevy Building today, which is the home of the Goodna sub branch.
Ms Miller has worked in education and training with the QFES, the Department of Justice and the Attorney General and as a primary and high school teacher.
For the past two years, she has committed her time to raising her two children and writing.
She ran an illustration competition to find work to be included in the final product.
"Something I say quite often is they're my words but it's their story," she said.
"It didn't feel right for me to make money from it. I just felt like it was something I needed to do.
"I've spent the last year working pretty flat out to get us to this point now. I had already written most of it ten years ago so the production process has been a full time year of work.
"It's been a really incredible community project, I just wrote the words and managed the project. There's no way I could have done it without all that support.
"I've had everything from a 10-year-old student all the way up to world-renowned artists submit art in this book. Quite a few of the illustrators are veterans as well."
To purchase the book, visit the book's website.