FACING NEW ENEMIES
Many Australian veterans return home only to face new enemies that make day to day life a constant battle. Read their stories and find out how you can help.
East Timor / Afghanistan veteran
21 years a soldier including 11 in the Special Forces. Due to the nature of his tours, Garry is not allowed to reveal much of his time in war, with the exception being the two-week period leading up to the crash - and waking up in a hospital in Westmead, after spending time in a hospital in Germany. He was in a coma for 6 weeks. From there, it took countless hours with psychologists to get his mind to realise he was no longer in battle, and back into the real world.
The new enemies of war
lost friends and memories
Garry discovered his best friend and two other close friends all died in the same crash he’d been involved in. He had lacerations, broken bones, a severe brain injury, an amputated limb and lost friends, which led to his battle with the new enemies of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.
Back home, he developed anger issues over the fact he survived and his friends didn’t. This manifested itself in breaking TVs, punching holes in walls - uncontrollable bouts of rage in front of his family. Frustrated with his injuries that left him unable to do what he could do before, Garry spent around two years in total in hospital fighting his way back to being himself.
The battles continue
new ways to fight
While recovering, Christmas was an especially hard time for Garry, but DefenceCare was able to help his family. Now better, sport is one outlet for Garry’s anger and frustration. But Garry admits, he has had to shift his self-image to defeat his new enemies.
Rather than being the person he used to be, Garry has a new ‘normal’ - one that lets him function back in society, appreciate the world around him, and be the loving father and partner he was before.
Help us help them
DefenceCare provides safe, compassionate and practical assistance to veterans and their families.
As well as help with claims, advocacy and referral for treatment, we provide counselling services and financial assistance when there’s no one else to turn to.
DefenceCare is dedicated to helping our veterans with life after war. Your donations help us help them. Text CARE to 1990 1111* ($5/message received, 25c/message sent).