Cecil loved every minute of his time with the Army. He loved the companionship, the mateship, social activities outside the services and the fact that everyone looked after each another. Cecil rose to the rank of Sergeant of his platoon.
Serving in the Citizens Military Forces from 1963, Cecil was a member of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) responsible for the maintenance and recovery of Army vehicles and equipment.
It was during his time in the Army that Cecil married Judith. “I was pretty wild when I was younger and she tamed me. We had a really wonderful relationship. She was the best thing to happen to me” says Cecil.
Cecil resigned from the Army after 10 years of service as he wanted to spend more time with his family and support his son, who, at times, was very sick with Cystic Fibrosis. Unfortunately his son passed away in 2000.
On Christmas day 2012, Cecil’s life changed dramatically when his mother passed away followed by his wife Judith in May 2013 from a tragic vehicle incident. He lost his wife of 47 years in an instant.
“The death of a loved one devastates the immediate family, to arrange the necessary arrangements for funeral services, the transfer of documentation and the costs involve are enormous” says Cecil.
It was at this time that Cecil experienced some significant financial struggles. He had difficulty paying for his wife’s funeral and didn’t know who to turn to.
Cecil had been a member for a number of years of his local RSL NSW sub-Branch and it was the President who connected Cecil with RSL DefenceCare.
“RSL DefenceCare’s help, assistance and generosity were overwhelming. Until this kind of situation arises, I can assure you, you really don’t know what to do or where to turn to for help.”
Cecil has since been able to reimburse RSL DefenceCare for their generous financial assistance. “I paid it back because it wasn’t my money to begin with. I was very fortunate to be helped, paying RSL DefenceCare back was just the right thing to do.
“I have to accept the fact that you cannot change the past or what has happened and deal with it in my own way; my choice now is to look to the future. It gets very lonely when you are on your own so I try to spend a lot more of my time with my immediate family, in particular my daughter and her four children.”
“My local RSL NSW sub-Branch and RSL DefenceCare have been extremely helpful and I cannot thank them enough. I thank them for their help during this horrendous period. RSL sub-Branches and RSL DefenceCare are the net to catch the fallen and help with the job at hand during difficult times.”
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