After 19 years in the Navy, Lachlan was medically discharged as a result of issues from his service in Iraq. Returning to country NSW with his wife, Lachlan was recently helped by RSL DefenceCare following the impact of bush fire, excessive rain and then drought.
Lachlan originally left the country and joined the Navy out of the need for stable employment and new challenges.
Single till his Persian Gulf deployment, Lachlan’s wife is also from the services and they married when Lachlan returned from the Persian Gulf. His time in the service brought him many new friends and helped him gain a broader understanding of world events and the role he and the Navy plays on the world stage.
Adjusting back to civilian life was and still is a struggle.
A lot of the skills taught in Defence become ingrained, and having to readjust to the civilian mentality is difficult. There was a huge loss for him of a trusted support network through Defence which he lost when discharging. For him, structure is missing in civilian life.
After their service, Lachlan and his wife purchased 3,500 acres in northern NSW, with the last four years being exceedingly difficult.
Their property was burnt out in bushfires 2009/10 and although they managed to save the family home and some sheds, they lost stock and other infrastructure.
Two years later a one-in-a-hundred year rain event resulted in further stock losses.
Lachlan and his wife rebuilt their stock in 2012 and 2013, only to have four months of 40 plus degree days and strong winds which depleted their water reserves and destroyed their feed. At the same time they suffered critical equipment failures.
RSL DefenceCare’s financial assistance enabled Lachlan and his wife to purchase feed and water at a critical time and subsequent rain over Christmas has helped turned their life around.
Lachlan is presently recovering from surgery on a tumour between his right eye and ear.
“The support provided by RSL DefenceCare was literally a lifesaver. When I reviewed our accounts and received the financial assistance, I cried. I was in a pretty bad space, trying to manipulate what we had to keep the wolf from the door.
“All we can say is thank you, as my wife and I cannot truly specify in words what the assistance meant to us.”
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