By Tony Fryer
Remembrance Day is certainly a time when we reflect on the sacrifices that, over the years, many in our Military have incurred in (or as a result of) conflict whilst serving our unique nation, Australia.
But let’s not forget all those in the families of these women and men … the sacrifices they have had to make; the instant or incremental changes to their lives that they have had to cope with.
In the St Marys and wider district, such impact on families is not uncommon. There are many Veterans in our area who have suffered and, in many cases, continue to suffer from the injuries or traumas they have incurred and witnessed during their time in Service.
Remembrance Day is an appropriate time to call out to all Veterans in or around our area in St Marys, to remind them of the significant support that is accessible locally … we are fortunate to have two ex-Service Organisations (ESO) – the Outpost Veterans Support Centre and the St Marys RSL sub-Branch. Both ESO’s work together to offer assistance to Veterans and their families; and it’s not compulsory to ‘join’ either, in order to access the services on offer (although it is far easier to keep in touch if you do join). Between both ESO’s …
• Any Veteran, who is thinking about sending a claim to DVA for an injury, illness or mental condition that they feel is a result of their military Service, can speak to a qualified and experienced advocate and receive the best of advice;
• A comprehensive range of non-competitive activities for Veterans (and some for partners or family) – this Veterans Wellbeing Program provides the opportunity for camaraderie and mateship for like-minded – check out the activities on the RSL sub-Branch website (stmrslsub.com.au/Programs) or phone Leanne on 9833 4700;
• Veterans (and families) who may be experiencing financial difficulty can seek temporary relief;
• There are multiple opportunities for a simple chat with like-minded Veterans – e.g. RSL sub-Branch meetings (check the website – stmrslsub.com.au) or over coffee at the ‘train’.
So, this Remembrance Day, if you are a Veteran (full time service and ARes; women and men; all age; ex-service and still serving) then now is the time to REMEMBER to contact one of these ESO’s to find out what might be useful/helpful for you.
For the St Marys RSL sub-Branch, visit our website (stmrslsub.com.au) to check out what’s on offer and what we do, or contact the Honorary Secretary, Tony on 0414 557 692. The sub-Branch office is kindly hosted by the St Marys Diggers Club (107 Mamre Rd, St Marys). Phone Tony to arrange to come to the next sub-Branch meeting to see what goes on.
For the Veterans Support Centre, located in the ‘train’ in the grounds of the St Marys Diggers Club, contact the office manager Leanne on 9833 4700 or simply call in Monday to Friday (generally between 9.00am and 2.00pm).
All in the community are very welcome to join us on Saturday morning for our 10.40am Remembrance Day Commemorative Service at our Guns War Memorial in the grounds of St Marys Diggers Club. While there, take a stroll around the ‘train’ facilities and speak to a member of the RSL sub-Branch.