Spare a thought this Christmas

A year ago I penned a Think Piece on this website titled “Spare a Thought”. It doesn’t seem like 12 months has passed since I wrote that piece – time seems to pass more quickly as the years roll by.

So once again we find ourselves at that point in the year where our thoughts, more than ever, focus on family, friends and loved ones as we look forward to another festive season in relative peace and security.

But again we ought to spare a thought for those approximately 2,200 service men and women who won’t have that same opportunity because they are deployed overseas on operational duties with their service families.

This year more than 7,500 Australian Defence Force personnel have deployed to theatres of operation from the Southern Ocean to Afghanistan, and from the South West Pacific to South Sudan.

They continue the tradition that began with the Anzacs at Gallipoli, and continued through Europe and the Pacific theatre in WWII, through Malaya, Borneo, Korea and Vietnam, and in more recent times in Timor Leste, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Just as the original Anzacs forged our sense of who we are as a nation, all who have served and continue to serve have carried on that sense of duty, compassion, camaraderie, and mateship.

As we enter the centenary year of the end of WWI, it is appropriate that we pause, just for a moment, to think about those who are far from their homes and loved ones this Christmas.

From the Veterans SA team, I extend our sincere thanks and best wishes to all our serving and ex-serving men and women.

Merry Christmas and safe and prosperous 2018.