Celebrating the contribution of ADF Reservists

Reservists helping the community during the Black Summer Bushfires.

 

THE community of Port Stephens is very connected to the Australian Defence Force.

We are home to the RAAF Base at Williamtown and served as a base for the war in the Pacific during World War II.

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We have veterans from the war in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan as well as those who have served in peacekeeping in East Timor and other nations across the world.

Many of those who have served full time go on to give their time as reservists but not all ADF reservists have served in a full time capacity.

Servicemen and women are a part of the community’s DNA.

This month the Armed Forces celebrated Reserve Forces Day, a day to recognise the vital role of those who have served our nation in the Navy, Army and Air Force through the Australian Defence Force Reserves.

Reserve Forces Day has been marked annually since it was first officially recognised in 1998.

Of great note is the impact that the reserve forces have played during the Black Summer Bushfires and COVID-19.

Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Liz Cosson AM CSC said that these brave men and women have given selflessly to serve our nation, in times of war, conflict, peacekeeping operations, national disasters and emergencies.

“Reserve Forces have long been an integral part of our Australian Defence Force.

“They have proudly served alongside our full-time members and continue to do so when called upon,” Ms Cosson said.

“Over the last 12 months, reservists have been involved in 18 operations both domestically and overseas which saw around 2,500 deployed on domestic operations, including Operation COVID-19 Assist and Operation NSW Flood Assist.”

It is important to acknowledge the efforts of Reservists, who when serving, put their lives and often careers on hold to ensure the safety of our nation.

“Our Reservists should be thanked for their dedication, along with their families and employers, as they often find themselves answering the call to serve at very short notice, as has been evident with the COVID-19 response,” Ms Cosson said.

“On Reserve Forces Day, I encourage all Australians to take the time to remember the service and sacrifice of these dedicated men and women.”

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs provides support and compensation to Reservists for all service related injuries and illnesses.

Reservists with one day of continuous full-time service or who have been involved in hazardous service may be eligible for support through Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling.

For further information, please visit www.openarms.gov.au or call 1800 011 046.

The community of Port Stephens salutes the reservists that have made positive changes to the lives of many around the world.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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