It has been 32 years since Barry Mionnet left the army but he still sits with his back to the wall.
In every room he enters, he surveys everything and everyone who comes and goes.
He doesn’t like being in crowds and has flashbacks he can’t always control.
Barry, 72, served for 20 years and spent more than a year in Vietnam.
As the Last Post sounded across Brisbane’s Anzac Square, he saw the faces of his friends as they fell or died in battle.
“I didn’t come back the way I went in,” he told AAP.
“We’ve had our problems.
“I’ll put it this way: it’s not the flesh scars, it’s the mental scars – post-traumatic stress.
“It will never go away.”
Flanked by 10 family members and wife Olive, Barry could cope with the crowd who stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the Anzac Day dawn service.
At first, he didn’t want anything to do with marches or ceremonies, but Olive wore him down over the years so his sacrifice is remembered in the family.
Wearing slouch hat earrings she brings out each April, Olive, too, has suffered.
“(Veterans) can be like Dr Jekyll and Hyde,” she said.
“That’s what the stress does.”
Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley addressed the service to recall past wars and the 400 soldiers in Afghanistan helping with the country’s rehabilitation.
Lights throughout the heritage-listed park were turned off and prayers of peace were read.
Only the lights on the Shrine of Remembrance remained, as well as the glow from its eternal flame.
“As we gather this pre-dawn darkness, we recollect the way soldiers of Gallipoli and countless other battlefields stood, too, in the dark,” Ms Wensley said.
“Preparing to face the fight and the possibility of death.
“We remember those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifices and remember those who came home and who will carry the scars of battle for a lifetime.”
Many in the crowd attended for the first time, spurred by the 2015 centenary of the landing at Anzac Cove.