Feb 2015: Update on Veterans Support

Activity has continued on a number of fronts. Direct pastoral care to veterans and their families has continued on a daily basis. I have been receiving more requests from family members across Australia, to help them understand what’s happening in their loved ones. Realistically there are more calls for support than I can follow through on, but I can but offer a listening ear, some spiritual triage, affirmation, and recommend them to a support person in their own area. This is very well received. Visiting vets in hospital has continued, and I have done several funerals. I have also initiated visits to RSL and other Veteran sub-branches on the Gold Coast, starting to get to know the communities here.

Engagement with those supporting veterans has involved meetings with the DVA staff at Gold Coast, Nerang Veterans Support Centre, Gold Coast clergy, and with the RAR Association. Knights of the Southern Cross have indicated they want to be supporters spiritually and financially.

Providing education on holistic health has involved a delivery to PROBUS, Bribie Island, with several more presentations programmed. DVA Gold Coast office has asked me to join their Men’s Health Peer Education Team. Defence has asked me to address a gathering of 75 Welfare Officers from across Australia in Sydney in late Feb. Plans are underway for my participation as a mentor in a week long Veterans Rehabilitation programme called Trojans Trek in August near Millmerran. Duntroon to Dili has been in demand with 520 books gifted or sold to individuals and kindred organisations, with libraries ordering 24. Numerous affirmations have come in that it has helped people understand what’s happening in themselves or their family members. Robyn Locke assisted with a detailed proof read of the first edition, and corrections have been sent to the printer for subsequent print runs.

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