Lest we forget? The new Veterans' Affairs Minister already has

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I’m a 94 year old veteran of World War II. I’m writing to the Veterans Affairs Minister for help. I wouldn’t normally do this — but I believe veterans deserve more respect.

Right now, the Minister is refusing to help ten of us veterans still alive from the WWII Bomber Command to fly and see a new official memorial in our honour in the UK. Seeing this memorial would mean so much to me — I’m the only surviving member of a crew of seven Australian Air Force members who fought in WWII against Hitler.

But insultingly, we’ve been told by the Department that we’re ‘too old’ for the trip, and they won’t help us pay for flights for us to see the memorial in our honour.

We all risked death as air crew in the war. On my twentieth trip, we were attacked and I thought I’d die - I was so scared. Many friends died. Hitler couldn’t defeat us, and we won the war, but little is written about us. We weren’t popular because of our work. It weighs heavily on me. That’s why seeing this memorial would mean so much to me.

It’s very expensive for a veteran like me to travel to the UK. I’m in a retirement village and on a disability pension for post-traumatic stress. Meanwhile, the Department of Defence has spent more than $2.3 million on musical instruments since 2015. Surely they can afford to send ten veterans to see a memorial in their own names.

Please Michael McCormack - as Veterans Affairs Minister, please don’t forget our history and ignore us veterans hoping for closure and honour.



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