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People We Help

Adrian

Adrian was in the Air Force for 22 years; it offered him the opportunity to do something mechanical, security and travel. The recruiter that came to his high school was an Airframe fitter by trade and Adrian joined up a year after high school and followed in his footsteps, also becoming an Airframe fitter.

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Agnes

Agnes enlisted with the Army at the age of 23 following in her brother’s footsteps. She served with the Royal Australian Corp of Transport for six years, and during her service she was deployed to East Timor and the Middle East. These experiences will stay with her forever.

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Alfred

Alfred’s return to civilian life was difficult. He returned when he became ill cancer and was unable to continue working. Alfred’s wife cares for him and in addition she cares for their daughter who has Multiple Sclerosis.

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Amy

Now discharged, Amy is one of the first mentors in the trial Veteran Peer to Peer Support program being run by RSL DefenceCare with the support of St John of God Richmond Hospital.

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Andy

RSL DefenceCare’s client, Andy, spent just under 10 years in Australia’s Defence Force. His story of injury and recovery is compelling. Here is Andy’s story in his own words.

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Caleb

RSL DefenceCare helped ex-Navy diver Caleb transition out of defence by funding a training course to get his truck driving licence.

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Cecil

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.

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Claire

Earlier this year Claire and her fiancé, an officer in the Navy set off on a couple of weeks holiday before he deployed overseas. Claire had just taken a redundancy from her job. During their holiday, Claire was involved in an accident and her knee was badly injured. She was told surgery and a year-long recovery at least was ahead of her.

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Clive

Clive McCall and his wife Catherine Joy courted for three years after Clive came back from WWII. The couple were married for 63 years and had five children, 13 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Sadly, Clive passed away on 3 September 2013. He was 88 years old.

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Craig

Craig was a soldier in the Army, serving in both East Timor and Iraq on deployment. He was a member of the Australian Army for over 7 years, so was his family.

Craig’s PTS, has had a huge impact on the family. He cannot work and his wife is the primary income earner, working full time.

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David

As a father David would do anything to support his son, one of his three children.

His son struggles regularly with his mental health, which can also at times be a battle for David, his father and carer. At the time we met David, his son was in danger of losing a limb to a terrible infection. He was unable to continue living outside of hospital walls to battle this illness.

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David

Since leaving the Army, David has found it difficult to adjust back to civilian life. For many years he has struggled with physical injuries and mental ill-health. He has also experienced significant instability in employment, moving regularly in and out of a variety of jobs.

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David

David joined the Australian Army when he was 16 and served his country for 10 years. He loved serving his country, but had to leave due to a motorcycle accident.

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Dean

Dean was raised on a property in western NSW. Originally he was a brick layer and plumber’s labourer; Dean didn’t consider his job steady, due to the reliance on weather conditions and work availability. A newspaper advertisement inviting people to join the Navy was found by his mum, and looked to be great way to start a career. So off to Brisbane Dean went for recruitment and never looked back since.

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Derek

Derek was born in Scotland but enlisted in the Navy soon after becoming an Australian citizen. He loved his time in the Navy and would do it all again – the most difficult thing was leaving behind his wife of 23 years. Prior to enlisting, they had only ever been apart for a week.

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Emily

At 24, Emily was medically discharged from the Navy following persistent hip and back pain that resulted from her role as a medic. Emily experienced injury and pain at various stages throughout her career as a result of heavy training and carrying significant loads. She also suffered a severe fall on stairs on a ship.

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Eric

When WWII veteran Eric Geddes decided to give RSL DefenceCare a call, he did not expect to receive the help he was given and the improvement to his quality of life. At the age of 95, the humble hero lives alone and suffers from cataracts, macular degeneration, sleep apnoea and lives on a limited pension payment.

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Garry

In June 2010 a helicopter crash caused multiple injuries for 2 Commando Sergeant Garry Robinson: a traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, a broken lower spine, dislocated and broken hip, fractured leg and internal bleeding.

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Geoff

Geoff Evans has post-traumatic stress (PTS) and physical wounds from being blown into the air when his Bushmaster-armoured vehicle ran over a road mine in Afghanistan. His brain suffered a severe traumatic injury from his head being violently shaken. It led him to be medically discharged - the day after he was promoted to lieutenant.

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George

65 year old Vietnam veteran, George has cardiac disease and advanced Multiple Sclerosis. For most of his later life he has been confined to an electric wheelchair and for over a decade, was cared for in nursing homes in Dubbo in central NSW.

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Graeme

Graeme served for almost 20 years in South East Asia and the Pacific in the Royal Australian Navy. He was discharged suffering from a mood disorder. Looking back, Graeme recalls how serving his country impacted on his family and his own mental health.

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Hannah

Hannah’s career in the Royal Australian Navy has led her on many journeys, including a struggle with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), major Depression and PTSD. RSL DefenceCare has been able to assist Hannah along the way with support during treatment, as well as helping with her Entitlements’ claim.

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Jason

Jason had to leave the Australian Defence Force due to a training injury. His wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour and he now cares for both his wife and their children. We helped with dental surgery for one of the children and continue to help when the expenses of family life become too great.

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Lachlan

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.

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Lee

In 2007, Lee was blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and in 2008 was diagnosed with PTSD.

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Leone

RSL DefenceCare provided ongoing counselling for Leone, whose son was deployed in Afghanistan for seven months.

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Mark

Mark first joined the army in 1991 and was first posted to Holsworthy’s 5/7 Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. He served his country across Australia and overseas for a total of 19 years.

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Michael

Michael was in the Navy for 15 years, before he was medically discharged. There was a lot of distress and anxiety about his upcoming departure and Michael’s wife was sick with stress and worry. With three young children at home, their concern was around income upon discharge and the loss of their defence support network.

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Neville

Neville was an infantry solider in the Australian Army and served multiple tours of duty in Timor between 1998 and 2005. During his time in Timor, Neville helped maintain Australia’s peacekeeping operations.

Like many veterans, Neville returned home unsure of how to once again settle into civilian life.

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Patricia

Doreen "Peggy" Cruise met her husband Fred at Coogee when she was only 14. It was love at first sight.

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Paul

Paul was deployed for eight months in Afghanistan and suffers from extensive injuries including post-traumatic stress as a result of his service.

His subsequent depression has affected the whole family and they are struggling. In addition, his wife is unwell and his two teenage children have also suffered as a result.

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Peter

Melinda’s father Peter served in Australian Army, A & B Squadron and the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. His classification was “Trooper” but he drove APC’s.

Peter’s step-father was in the Australian Army in his younger days and was a member of the “Rats of Tobruk”. Melinda believes that this was her father’s inspiration to join the Army - to make his father proud and serve his country.

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Robin

When Robin left the Navy, everything went off the rails. He found it difficult to adjust to civilian life, with multiple admissions to hospital for PTSD and a significant decline in his overall health.

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Rochelle and Taylor

Taylor is a 17-year-old and affected by leukaemia. Her mum, Rochelle, is in the RAAF and her grandfather is a Vietnam Vet.

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Shane

Shane was in the Army for 20 years, motivated to join by childhood dreams. As an 18 year old he had always wanted to be a soldier and did not see anything else in his future. Shane wanted to experience the challenge and defend the Australian way of life.

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Shannon

Shannon discharged from the Army in 2006. After struggling in civilian life for some time, the walls came crashing down in Christmas 2009. By mid-2010 Shannon was unemployed and in his words, unemployable.

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Tom

Tom joined the Royal Australian Navy at the age of nineteen and served for six years as an electrical technician. Adjusting back into civilian life for Tom included a mixture of both good and bad times.

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Warren

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.

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Zach

Cancer is a devastating diagnosis for any family, even more so when it affects a six year old child and the treatment is thousands of miles away. For this Army family, there was only one answer – pack up and move.

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