AUSTRALIAN VETERAN MATTERS FORUM => THE MAD GALAHS FORUM--This forum does not necessarily reflect AVMs opinion. CLICK HERE FOR AVMS OPINION => Topic started by: Jock Oi on Friday22May2009

Title: Our "Other" ANZACS
Post by: Jock Oi on Friday22May2009
Our "other" ANZAC’s

40 years have passed since the Vietnam War. 40 ANZAC Days avoided and shunned. 40 years of memories dreaded. 500 lives lost in those jungles. Thousands of lives changed forever. Dreams of spirited young man folding out before them gone as dead and lifeless as blackened severed limbs.

For 40 years disabled diggers have lived on a pension less than half the average wage. Their wives left to carry the financial needs of the family. Needs sidestepped by our government. He was told he was fighting to bring freedom from oppression and the right to prosperity to peoples of foreign lands. In this land, the land that sent him he has neither. Denied what the rest of us take for granted.

His family is raised on welfare income, the RSL send him food vouchers, his children wear second hand school uniforms and the Salvos furnish his home. Robbed of his dignity, unable to be the provider he sinks into depression, seeking oblivion in medication and alcohol. To early loosing his friends to burn out and suicide. The once strong youth we sent to war lives half a life, half a man on half a wage. This is the life of the disabled soldier after our country; our politicians have no further use for our broken protectors.

These then are the men you will not see on ANZAC Day. They will be closeted at home anxious and fearful poisoned by adrenaline. They will be in the hospital wards with cancers and wasting diseases from defoliant spray. They will be in the psychiatric clinics sedated awaiting another round of electro convulsive treatment to stop the screaming in their head. For them the war has never ceased. They do not fit into our  myths the legends of the bronzed invincible digger. They are the human detritus of foreign wars and political misadventure and their presence makes us feel uncomfortable when the annual ANZAC Day carnival comes around.

Not for these men the polished medals, the heads held high, the ANZAC march to public acclaim.
For them ANZAC  is just another day to survive life’s lost dreams, questioning why, why, why.
No "Lest We Forget". For them how easily we have forgotten.

Frank (Jock) O’Neill  3177102

Title: Re: Our "Other" ANZACS
Post by: krt1. on Saturday23May2009
Well that says it all! I can't think of any thing that Frank may have missed. Well said and no exaggeration throw in. Thank you for that Frank, it should be on every ones fridge.