How It All Began

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G’Day Guys and Girls,

First entry into the new website, pretty exciting stuff. On behalf of Scott, Sven and myself, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has helped us out to get where we are now. A massive thank you to the president of the Cranbourne/Dandenong RSL, John Wells, for his understanding and commitment to helping the veterans of today. Thanks John, you’re a legend. We’d like to acknowledge RSL Victoria at ANZAC house.

The idea for young veterans was a pretty humble one at that, and it quickly grew into something larger, which we are happy about, but we want the veterans of today to come forward with their ideas as well. Our initial plan was to drive ex service land rovers from Victoria to Cape York. We asked many ESO’s for event support and sponsorship and we were shunned off as not being serious or as “competition”.

Upon talking to Scott and Sven about run ins we have had at some RSLs across Australia, we decided there had to be a way where we could educate RSLs and other ESO’s on “our wars”. Now we’re not talking about telling war stories, we’re talking bigger picture, what happened, when it happened, why it happened?

There are many RSL’s across Australia which younger veterans will not go to because of the same trending stories, “there’s a bloke in there who harasses you about not going to a real war”, “there’s a boys club that ask why you’re in the members area and that its for Returned servicemen”. As a 20 year old being told I hadn’t been to a real war after 9 months in Afghanistan, I turned my back on the RSL, but further indication suggested, the only coverage these men and women have is the media, which naturally puts a negative spin on everything war-like.

We approached John at the Dandenong RSL in a last ditch effort and told him our plan, our idea and how we wanted to inject ourselves into the RSL, because at the end of the day, the boys clubs that exist was not the reason the league was started by veterans of WW1. It was to allow a place for veterans to get the support they need from mates, like-minded men and women, and somewhere to have a beverage and commemorate the sacrifices we have all made in our service to the nation.

To our surprise, John jumped at the idea and we were off, within weeks we had our first rover, and it was when we got the first car, we knew we were going to achieve something great.

More to follow.

 

Chris