Something to remember this Remembrance Day
AS VETERANS from around the South Burnett gather for Remembrance Day on Friday we should take note of the mental tolls our soldiers suffer.
Having been in the army for more than 35 years and served in East Timor and Iraq training their armies, Capitan Nigel Goulding has good perspective.
"I joined just after Vietnam had finished so a lot of the fellows that trained me, they were Vietnam veterans and they were shunned by society and that had a lot to do with the politics of the '60s and '70s,” he said.
"In World War Two it was very nationalistic, there were big triumphant parades, welcoming everyone. Just about everyone had a son, husband or nephew involved.
"Ceremonially, they were very well catered for, where they dropped out was in the medical realisation that people suffered from things like PTSD and emotional trauma.
"Similarly in the Vietnam era that wasn't catered for.
"We just didn't know.”
But the wars of the past two decades changed from mass affairs to training and support deployments and soldiers like Cpt Goulding often don't return en masse.
"In my case, my welcome home ceremony was a cab ride from the Cairns airport,” he said.
While the ceremony was not as prominent Cpt Goudling said the support troops got was top notch and he's encouraging today's servicemen and women to ask for help.
"Take full advantage of all the medical and psychological services available make it a priority to get involved with organisations like Mates for Mates, it's very, very good,” he said.
There's also a mob called At Ease.
"You go from a lifestyle with support around you by virtue of the people you work with and you go to nothing.”
Cpt Goudling said was imperative they connect.
"At least you'll know they're there.”