The cost of serving.

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It's been a couple of weeks since the Invictus Games in Sydney. I wrote two piece for the ABC during the Games, links to which can be found below.

The first is a profile of Brendan Hardman, who I had the pleasure of playing against at a few wheelchair basketball tournaments in the last year. He was part of the Australian Invictus team who came to some of the NSW competitions to gain a bit of match practice. The article charts Brendan's journey from the crushing impact of PTS to signing up to play in the National League for WA-based team Red Dust Heelers.

The second piece was the result of a profoundly moving interview with Chris Pitman and his partner Kylie, who spoke very frankly about the experience of living wth PTS and the impact it can have on the family.

The interviewees for both articles have benefitted from the support offered by The Road Home, a charity based in South Australia. There are also other organisations offering support, but as with many aspects of Australian life, there is some regional inconsistency due to State-based services, rather than a national strategy.

I must confess that I was disappointed to learn, shortly after the end of the Invictus Games, that the federal government is going to spend $500,000,000 on digging a huge hole under the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, in order to display some helicopters and other pieces of military hardware. It seems obscene that so much can be spent on looking after old pieces of kit, while veterans and their families are suffering a lack of support while dealing with the impact of mental health issues that have resulted from service.

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