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During his time in the Army, Paul trained for air dispatch and road transport employment. He was also fortunate enough to be selected for a prestigious two-year exchange program in Fort Lee, Virginia.

After a number of years Paul decided to get back into the business world with a logistics role, however he found that the bonds of trust and camaraderie that were so prominent in the Army were not always shared in business. He was presented an opportunity to get involved with the Army again and he jumped at the chance. He didn’t look back from there as the Army provided “an interesting, challenging career” and the opportunity to be “part of something”.

Paul’s deployment as part of a truce monitoring operation in Bougainville, PNG was his most significant few months in the Army. He was a part of the initial truce monitoring group sent in to help maintain order when the people of Bougainville had the opportunity to vote for peace in the region. It was a tense time as the region settled in to the changes, but thankfully there were some “damn good soldiers and officers” present. Paul said “it was great to actually see the changes in the country; it was incredible, the most rewarding part of my time in the Army”.

After an illustrious career spanning 40 years, Paul retired. He is still involved with the Reserves, but such a long and intense career takes a toll on the body. While Paul considers himself luckier than a lot of people leaving the Defence Force, he still had a number of chronic injuries from his service and found his biggest struggle was navigating the legislation and processes involved in completing claims with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). “Three different legislations cover the time I served, it’s quite bewildering.”

That’s when Paul decided to reach out to RSL DefenceCare for assistance with his claims. Paul worked with Angus, one of RSL DefenceCare’s Claims Advisors. Angus was able to act as a contact point for both Paul and DVA and helped Paul understand what he was and wasn’t entitled to and the documentation he needed.

“It has been invaluable – Angus has been a huge help”, said Paul. He also has the following advice for any other current and ex-serving member of the ADF going through these claims or preparing to; “contact someone who knows what they are talking about, it makes life a lot easier. You need someone you can trust”.

Please give what you can so we can continue to support current and ex-serving members like Paul.

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