Commandos don’t use cars and they weren’t about to start in Melbourne’s Anzac Day march.
Despite their ageing legs, World War II veterans from the Commando Association refused to take it easy on four wheels.
“The RSL was fairly insistent that they either get in some support or get in cars,” association secretary Glenn MacDonald told AAP.
“Being commandos, they never want to use vehicles. They’ve always been used to doing things on their feet.”
Instead, the association had some younger former commandos to help the older veterans walk from Flinders Street Station to the Shrine of Remembrance.
SAS veteran Victor Kiwikiwi said marching to Melbourne’s shrine was one of the most moving Anzac Day services in Australia.
“I try and get out, to remember all my mates and my forefathers,” the 77-year-old said.
Mr Kiwikiwi lost 11 uncles in the two world wars, but hopes his grandchildren will follow him into the armed forces.
Melbourne’s Kye Gambin, 26, marched for the second time after returning from Afghanistan in 2009.
He fractured his spine when a roadside bomb went off near him.
Despite that, Mr Gambin said he would go back “in a heartbeat”.
“We did a lot of good things, we did some scary things,” he said.
The march stopped briefly after a veteran collapsed.
Ambulance Victoria said the man needed CPR and was treated within seconds.
He is in a critical condition in hospital.
Among the thousands of people who turned out to pay their respects was seven-year-old Tom Elliott, who inspired dad Daniel, mum Suzanne and sister Sophie, 5, to attend.
“I like soldiers. I like the soldiers and all the stuff here,” he said.
Ms Elliott said the family came from England three years ago but understood the significance of Anzac Day.
“We learn something every time we come here,” she said.
Simon Zheng, his wife Yan, 16-month-old daughter Hannah and his mother Kun Zhou also attended. They arrived in Australia six years ago.
Mr Zheng said they wanted to pay their respects to Australian war veterans.
“It’s a big day to commemorate that. Without them we would not have such a great country,” he said.