Gwenda Ick knows the horrors of war don’t end on the battlefield.
Her father served in New Guinea in the World War II, and while she was born after he returned home, she says the man that came back wasn’t the same as the one who left.
Ms Ick, along with her 85-year-old mother Patricia Smith, enjoyed a rare dry spot on the flanks of Sydney’s soggy Anzac Day march near Martin Place.
While her father Raymond Fredrick Smith survived the gunfire, Ms Ick said the man she knew was “always sick”.
“He was traumatised. He used to get angry quite a lot,” she told AAP.
“You were always worried about what you said, because of the anxiety.”
“They all came back with post-traumatic stress syndrome.”
For Ms Ick and her mother, the national day isn’t just about the symbolic sacrifice of the Anzac story, but the real-life consequences war has wrought on their family – and countless others.
“When you look at the generations, there’s grandchildren that didn’t get to meet their grandfathers,” Ms Ick said, a sprig of rosemary pinned to her Akubra.
As military bands marched past, the 62-year-old said attending Anzac Day commemorations always bring on mixed emotions – the celebration of national pride mingling with memories of her traumatised father.
“It’s hard not to get quite emotional,” she told AAP.
“As kids growing up, you see a lot of sickness, which can be really depressing.”
But for her mother Patricia, wrapped up and dry in her plastic poncho, the opportunity to come and honour those who have served their country should be seized.
“My husband passed away, but we still like to come in and watch.”