The end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 has been one of the most brutal bushfire seasons that our state and our country has experienced.
In this time of crisis mateship and comradery have come to the fore. It is comforting to see that in times of need our, sometimes fractured, community band together and are there for each other and our country. (This should continue after the crisis has passed)
From the outset of these fires, veterans jumped straight in to help.
Veterans have used their skills and equipment to provide essential support to the CFS in the Adelaide Hills and they are currently over on Kangaroo Island continuing to assist.
One of our own and his family lost everything in the Cudlee Creek fires, and within minutes of learning about the tragedy the community mobilised to assist.
A huge working bee, with people from many ESO’s took place at Aristaeus Farms to begin the process of recovery. There is a long way to go, but importantly Marc and Rhiann know that they are not alone.
The President of the Lobethal RSL, despite suffering his own losses in the fires, threw himself into assisting the Hills community. He opened the doors of the RSL as a donation drop off point. An army of volunteers based at the RSL are making up food/cleaning/toiletries parcels and delivering them to those in need in the area.
The financial, physical and emotional support has been overwhelming.
Establishing how many veterans may have been affected is proving to be a challenge, however if anyone becomes aware of somebody who needs assistance and is unsure of who to contact, please contact Veterans SA and we will pass the details on to the relevant organisations.
To those who took the reins to coordinate the many moving parts, thank you. Calm minds are the foundation of a successful operation, and if anyone who hasn’t served ever wonders what veterans are capable of, this, among many other skills, is a shining example.
The community response shows that no matter how much time passes, when the call goes out, we will always respond.
If you are assisting with firefighting or the recovery effort, remain vigilant and look out for each other. Importantly in the aftermath of this trauma, please make sure that if you need to, reach out and speak to someone.
There are too many people and acts of kindness to mention individually, so we would like to say to everyone involved who has contributed in any way:
Thank you for your continuing service.