Port Macquarie RSL sub-branch remembers war on terrorism

The Port Macquarie RSL sub-branch has praised the growing support for a day to remember those who are affected by the war on terrorism along with returned service men and women of later conflicts.

About 60 people attended a service at the Port Macquarie cenotaph on Tuesday, September 11.

Sub-branch president Greg Laird OAM put his support behind the establishment of a national day.

"This event is growing year on year and it is thanks to Jason Gill for pushing ahead with this event," Mr Laird said.

“The first year I think there was just six people turned up, but the following year there were 30 people here. Today I reckon there is between 60 and 70 people.

“We, as a sub-branch, support this day.

"We have made approaches to the RSL movement to have this day gazetted as an official RSL day but to no avail.

"We have been knocked back, several times.

"However, I can guarantee that we will continue to host this day whileever I am the president of this sub-branch," he said.

Peter Bridge, a Lance Corporal who served from 1996 to 2005, said soldiers who returned from more recent fields of conflict needed support.

"We need to acknowledge the service men and women that not only passed away overseas but also those who are continuing to deal with the trauma on their return," he said during his main speech.

"Today, we lose two (returned service men and women) each month.

"That is not a small thing. It is a big thing that we sometimes lose sight of in our day to day life.

"Just like 9/11 and the war on terrorism, we still need to help those soldiers who have returned and like the 9/11 survivors, they also need our help today."

They are still dealing with the trauma, he said.

Mr Bridge said the community can play its part in helping these soldiers who have returned from later conflicts.

"Even if you didn't serve, if you know someone who did serve, let them know that you are there as a friend," he said.

"It is really important to let those service men and women know that this community cares.

"Just let them know you are there to help and support them," he said.

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