Recently I had a discussion with two Veteran’s wives whose husbands are struggling after leaving the Australian military. Experiencing the “usual” problems post service both men, and families, would benefit from the assistance offered by Veteran’s organisations. The challenge faced by families of Veterans in s accessing services is a minefield without all required information.
The purpose of this blog is twofold. First, as Veterans we have a responsibility to take the first step in seeking help. It’s a big step heavily influenced by the Aussie tradition of she’ll be right mate and pride. Make no mistake though, if your a Veteran at some stage you will need help. We all do and the earlier you’re in the system the better for you and your family. So to be blunt, Veteran up and register you and your family with DVA and the local RSL Subbranch as a minimum NOW!
The second is, that regardless of how you feel as a Veteran, don’t deprive your family access to the same support services. A simple solution is to provide your parents, partner or children all your service information. This can be a one page document listing your service numbers, period of service, deployments and any conditions you may have. With this information organisations can verify your loved ones connection and start the process for their support.
Now you might think this is ridiculous and family member’s should be able to access all organisations. Well its not ridiculous and in fact is is a selfish action retaining this information.
Two weeks ago one of the wives I spoke to returned home to find her husband dead. I can’t imagine how she feels but know that she’ll need any assistance she can get. To help out I contacted the nearest RSL Subbranch so they could provide her access to services. Unfortunately the lady was unable to provide the RSL with her husbands service details. Like all organisations the RSL has rules and information requirements before providing assistance. Unable to identify the husband as a Veteran the RSL could go no further.
30 minutes, just 30, is the time it would have taken to list the service information required for the now War Widow to access Veterans services!
While short and blunt the message is important. You will be impacted by your service one way or another. Seek help or don’t seek help is an individuals decision. If you choose not to seek help ok but don’t deny it to family and loved ones because of your pride.