Busy days. Last week at Coolangatta I commemorated the loss of my mates in South Vietnam with members of the platoon. As Recce Platoon, 7RAR we spent a year conducting long range patrols and took a lot of casualties from mines and AK 47s. We get together every year on the anniversary of one our mate’s death in action and remember them all. We are together for a week and it is great to recharge the batteries. It reminds me that friendship’s formed in battle and the losses we suffered are forever. A weekend with grandkids and back to work at a three day seminar with the Royal Australian Regiment Association where we try and do better at looking after our less fortunate veteran mates. Senator Michael Ronaldson, Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, shared his thoughts under Chatham House rules and he was followed by Craig Orme from DVA. I was impressed with both of them. With their compassion, professionalism and determination to improve the lot of veterans. They handled the crusty old soldier audience with aplomb considering there were star ranks abound (not me, of course – I only made Major) From commemorating my mates death in action to attending a seminar aimed at helping those of us who survived, is taxing but ultimately motivational as you spend days concentrating on the less fortunate and realize there are agencies who are lining up to help and that any personal problems you think you might have, pale into insignificance compared with others. Of course, after all day conferencing, the time comes to relax and this week gave me cause to remember that some of these older warriors have a tremendous ability to consume beer and red wine as we literally discuss the history of the Regiment from Morotai (where the Regiment was formed in 1948) through to Iraq. The unofficial history, that is. The history that never gets written down. We military have Chatham House rules as well. Heady days – now back to work.