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Letters: Our readers respond to Eamon Hale's article in the changing face of the Australian Veteran

Mary A, 14 February 2021

I really enjoyed reading a well written article about who veterans are in 2021 and the challenges faced by younger veterans.

I think that this article has been important in not only educating the wider community but also for veterans and for their families who still struggle to accept younger veterans and those such as myself who served in the Army Reserve during peacetime. We still contributed to the defence force in so many ways and peacetime still requires specialist skills and being ready to go at any moment.

I served with the Army Reserve until 1990 and I have struggled to be seen as a valuable member of the ADF by otherer veterans because I am Female, ex-ARES and I haven't deployed. It's extreemly isolating.

I also would like to add, I've heard too many stories from younger veterans about the criticism and abuse regarding their roles.

Each role in defence is vitally important and pertinent to a highly efficient defence force. I'd like to see attitudes change with current serving, veterans and the wider community to stop judging us because of the role we were in unit and role.

Every unit in defence has a specialist role and defence cannot function effectively without them. It's a special kind of job and there is no place for racism, sexism or demeaning others because of their branch of service or the unit they served with.

The ADF is a job that above all requires mateship and trust. We need to stop the backbiting and support each another, no matter when or where you served.


David Barker, 14 February 2021

I’m of that Vietnam era and have to say that I totally agree withe the sentiments expressed in this article, and I have withdrawn from the RSL and sub branch for those exact reasons.

I must add that many of my era do a wonderful job running sub branches etc, but, and herein lies the rub, many are run by two-year men with limited military service and no idea of what the modern members of the ADF face and have faced. Furthermore, there are always people there who are only interested in feathering their own nests to the detriment of the veteran community.


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