Who is a veteran?
If you have served in the Army, Navy or Air Force, full-time or part-time, serving or ex-serving, during peacetime or active/operational service - You are a veteran!
You may resist even being called a ‘veteran’ as that term has an age connotation with which you may not want to identify.
You as a young veteran, broadly speaking, who has served since 1975 - the post Vietnam generations - are the sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of our older veterans. You have grown up with a different set of expectations. You also face a range of different challenges and work in a changed social environment.
You, as a young veteran increasingly experience multiple deployments, diverse in nature – from humanitarian relief operations to full combat (as in the Middle East). The deployments expose you to:
- environmental harm (disease and temperature/humidity extremes and potentially toxic substances)
- psychological harm (exposure to death and suffering on a large scale, often involving civilian women and children, and the stress of not knowing who is the enemy or where he or she is)
- physical harm (the full range of weapon effects and possible suicide bombings)
In several instances, you (male and female) will experience this full range of threats in different theatres over two to three years.
You have to balance your professional and family life, noting that in most cases, both you and your partner are in the workforce.
Encouragingly, you as a young veteran, are likely to be more receptive to medical and psychological assistance, and rehabilitation to regain and maintain your wellness and quality of life.
You have higher expectations of in-Service and post-Service support arrangements, and in particular, your transition from Service life to civilian life through us (Young Diggers) will hopefully be supportive, well managed, and seamless. You may choose to return to full-time or part-time service at a later date.
You have a strong sense of immediacy about the assistance to which you are reasonably entitled to or need.
Arguably, more recent serviceman and women are drawn from a society seen as inherently less resilient than earlier generations. You are a quality young person, but you need and expect competent leadership, and physical and mental conditioning to better equip you for the challenges you are expected to face and to which you are exposed.
You are electronically aware and enabled - you prefer to receive information through email and the internet. Not surprisingly, you expect administrative efficiency and you are intolerant of excessive bureaucracy.
Young Diggers acknowledges we have a duty to you. You now uphold the traditions established by the ANZACs and preserved by subsequent generations of servicemen and women.
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