A thread ....

We knew it would be bad. It’s been a body blow that has literally floored some of us. Some have admitted themselves to care. Partners don’t know what to say to their loved ones. We are as family, close. It’s as if a family member has committed a murder.

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Many will give opinions of how we got to here. Of how the process now plays out. How reforms will be made. And ask how and why. The experts and others will write articles and papers. Will the shame a nation feels fall at the feet of diggers alone? So many questions. 2
Here is what I know about veterans & soldiers, sailors and airmen and women. And their families. Based on 40 years in service and 7 years out. They are our sons and daughters. Our Mums and Dads. Nieces and nephews and grandparents. Brothers and sisters. Friends & neighbours. 3
I’ve seen a digger lying beside another digger in the jungle reading quietly to a mate that couldn’t read. Mates weeping as they carried the coffin of a mate who has succumbed after service when the pain became too much to bare. 4
I’ve spoken to sailors with their own families who are traumatised for what they were directed to do on our northern borders. I’ve seen an Australian peacekeeper comfort a father who had lost his entire family of 11 in an instant. 5
I’ve witnessed our people in The Middle East, Timor, Western Sahara, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Indonesia in the most challenging of environments serve their nation superbly. They were a credit to themselves and all of us. 6
Many served at home only, some like myself only served overseas a couple of times and many more in recent times served on multiple occasions overseas. I know a courageous woman who did eleven deployments. 11 times leaving her family to serve her nation. 7
I met one bloke at an airport some years ago. He had an army helmet bag. Had a chat with him. An army pilot. He was going back for his 7th tour. Seven. We ask so much of our men and women. 8
At the home end are our incredible families. I cannot thank them enough for what they have to go through. I’ve spoken to some partners in the last 48 hours. They are managing their own thoughts and trying to support their partners as best they can. 9
To serve these days in the ADF you need to have the knowledge, skills and training to be a soldier, sailor, airperson, fighter, peacekeeper, diplomat, and emergency services professional.
I personally know many thousands in the wider defence community. 10
I’ve served with them and have seen them in the best and worst of times.

The coming days will be challenging for many.

For my ‘family’ ~ We will get through this.

I urge you to support each other as best you can. I know it can be hard but don’t be afraid to reach out. 11
If you are travelling ok check in on your mates. #CheckYourMates. Touch base and have a yarn. Especially with our SF mates but others you know that may need a call.

Who did you just think of that might need a call?

Call ‘em. They will appreciate it. 12
The vast majority of the defence family are good people. Exceptional people. They are my friends and family.

Many are now hurting.

Others will look at why and how of crimes. The process must play out.

What I respectfully ask is to look out for each other. Support each other 13
And for my civilian mates & followers on here:

None of us in the defence family condones the behaviour that’s been identified by the courageous members of our own ‘family’ that bravely spoke up.

My thoughts are with Afghan victims & all of those effected.

Take care



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