Being a Veteran and an Association Member
A Veteran – whether on active duty, an member of the Reserves or retired – is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to ‘The people of Australia’ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life’.
When a Veteran leaves the ‘job’ and retires to a better life, many are jealous, some are pleased, and others, who may have already retired, wonder if he knows what he is leaving behind, because we already know.
- We know, for example, that after a lifetime of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing for those past times.
- We know in the Military life there is a fellowship which lasts long after the uniforms are hung up in the back of the closet.
- We know even if he throws them away, they will be on him with every step and breath that remains in his life. We also know how the very bearing of the man speaks of what he was and in his heart still is.
These are the burdens of the job. You will still look at people suspiciously, still see what others do not see or choose to ignore and always will look at the rest of the Military world with a respect for what they do; only grown in a lifetime of knowing.
Never think for one moment you are escaping from that life. You are only escaping the ‘job’ and merely being allowed to leave ‘active’ duty.
So what I wish for you is that whenever you ease into retirement, in your heart you never forget for one moment that you are still a member of the greatest fraternity the world has ever known.
From one Veteran to another, it’s an honour to be in your company.
Thank you, Veterans.
I stood and I watched as a mother cried,
when she had heard that her son had died.
He didn’t die because he was sick,
or he didn’t die because he was in a wreck.
He died doing what he felt was right.
I watched a father try to hold back his tears,
His son had lived only a scant 19 years.
His son had died nine thousand miles away,
And what was there left for a father to say?
He got down on his knees and said a prayer,
His brave son knows his father did care.
I stood and watched as a little girl cried.
She didn’t understand why her brother had passed on;
Why he never again played with her on the lawn.
Looking at the little girl’s tears I knew,
That her big brother died fighting for you and me.
~ Author Unknown ~
In Your Honour
Unselfishly, you left your fathers and your mothers,
You left behind your sisters and your brothers.
Leaving your beloved children and wives,
You put on hold, your dreams-your lives.
On foreign soil, you found yourself planted
To fight for those whose freedom you granted.
Without your sacrifice, their cause would be lost
But you carried onward, no matter the cost.
Many horrors you had endured and seen.
Many faces had haunted your dreams.
You cheered as your enemies littered the ground;
You cried as your brothers fell all around.
When it was over, you all came back home,
Some were left with memories to face all alone;
Some found themselves in the company of friends
As their crosses cast shadows across the land.
Those who survived were forever scarred
Emotionally, physically, permanently marred.
Those who did not now sleep eternally
‘Neath the ground they had given their lives to keep free.
With a hand upon my heart, I feel The pride and respect; my reverence is revealed
In the tears that now stream down my upturned face
As our flag waves above you, in her glory and grace.
Freedom was the gift that you unselfishly gave
Pain and death was the price that you ultimately paid.
Every day, I give my utmost admiration
To those who had fought to defend our nation.
~ Author Unknown ~