Warren's journey through life was a struggle.
Warren joined the Army at 18 and spent two years in full-time service that included two tours of Vietnam. He then spent many subsequent years in the Army reserves and was well respected.
Settling back into civilian life was difficult, particularly when it came to his family.
Due to his PTSD, Warren's marriage fell apart after just a few years and he had difficulties seeing his daughter.
Warren's life was also heavily affected by his financial struggles and he struggled to hold down a job as his mental health worsened. At age 58, he was no longer fit to work.
By his 67th birthday, Warren slipped into a haze as his mental health worsened to the point where to his daughter Rose, he became a different person.
Growing up, Rose was very aware of her father's mental health. Later in life, he was chronically suicidal, had difficulty sleeping daily and was heavily medicated in a mental health hospital for the best part of a year. This made it difficult for him to return to his rural property, leaving Warren homeless. At this time, Homes for Heroes stepped in to offer him accommodation.
Rose and her family, including her four small children, moved into Warren’s rural property to take on the financial burden. Shortly after moving, Rose’s husband become redundant and they we were not eligible for any government assistance. The whole family was struggling financially.
It was at this time that Warren was sent back to hospital with chest pain and breathing difficulties and sadly was diagnosed with stage four, advanced small cell lung cancer.
Warren fought the cancer with all he had, but eventually Rose had to leave her husband and children to move back to Sydney for seven weeks to care for her father until he entered a palliative hospital.
Unfortunately after visiting him in hospital, Rose's car broke down on a main road in Sydney, blocking peak hour traffic for over an hour. The car’s motor had seized, leaving her over 300kms away from her family. The family couldn't afford to repair the car, but living in a rural area they couldn't afford not to.
"I was completely stuck; the best thing that could have happened to me was the suggestion to contact RSL DefenceCare.
"Without hesitation they helped repair my car so I could continue to visit my father in hospital and return home to my children. Not only this, RSL DefenceCare put Bluetooth into my car, to make it safe for me, as well as stay in contact with my husband and the hospital while driving.
"As icing on the cake, RSL DefenceCare brought my children to Sydney and organised accommodation for us all, to relieve my anxiety about being split between my dying father and my four young children. As a final gift to my dad, he was able to see the four little people that gave his life meaning, a reason to fight his cancer. Dad was given time with his grandchildren before he passed.
"The car is a necessity where I live, but the time RSL DefenceCare gave my dad with his grandchildren is impossible to value. It was the most amazing gift of all."
Unfortunately, Warren passed away four weeks later on his 69th birthday with Rose by his side.
"I know his heart was full of thanks to RSL DefenceCare for the last memories they provided him with his grandchildren and I am eternally thankful for all they have done."
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