It has been a big weekend for our family, as usual.
With my husband as a retired serving member, and a legacy of PTSS for his tour of East Timor, ANZAC Day is always a bitter sweet day.
The thing that really pees me off is the Australian Army’s continuing protestations that they support their returned soldiers, and that very few seek to take advantage of the psychological and other support services that are available. Let me tell you that my husband would rather cut his tongue out than admit to the Army that he needs their help.
And herein lies the problem – the Army creates a culture of self-sufficiency and strength and manliness, which then back-fires in a big way when the shit hits the fan.
And as a spouse, one can only say and do so much in support, when what is needed is professional, uncategorical and non-judgmental support from the body that helped to create the problem in the first place.
In The Age on Sunday there was an article about this very problem. Each of the people interviewed had issues when they were discharged, and none had taken advantage of what is available.
For the first time in six years, I didn’t cry at the ANZAC Day service at school, or even on the day. As I was reflecting on this yesterday afternoon, I realised that I hadn’t had the burden of ‘the elephant in the room’ this year, as our family is temporarily separated geographically. And following that realisation was a wish that the elephant could be disposed of – once and for all. What a relief that would be.