Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

This is written with the aim of explaining to both veterans & their families the reasons behind this major problem & to give some advice as to how to manage it successfully. Post traumatic stress disorder is not necessarily for war veterans, but can be caused by stressful experiences in life such as being conditioned by specific training such as that experienced by all military personnel. Active military service can reinforce that the military training we received during our recruit and initial employment training phases was 100% effective and necessary. The psychological training, in some cases, is more important than the physical.

From the time of recruit course we are aggressively conditioned. Yelled at to disembark the bus, line up together, marched off to have our heads shaved, our personal belongings are bagged and taken away, issued with everything deemed necessary by our new family (army, navy or air force), given a regimental number, assigned the rank of recruit (lowest of the low, civilians and unit mascots outrank recruits), and given a "familiarisation" march to show us everywhere we cannot go as well as the few places we can go. -all of this to the tune of those without mothers, drill Sargent's.

Civilian life differs from military, recruit course helps the transition, that iswhy we are different after we graduate. For approximately 3 months we are conditioned and retrained into the military way of life. Theoretically, we sleep from 10pm until 6am, unless you are volunteered for fire-picket duty or some other detestable activity for upsetting those in charge. During this time we are also expected to clean personal equipment, study required topics and generally organise anything required for the following day. Each day is physically & emotionally demanding with the added burden of being aggressively conditioned to comply to all commands given-regardless of personal opinion.

Every human has a fight-or-flight attitude that is instinctive. The military culture trains each recruit so that their human stress response is compatible with military objectives. Few people are naturally aggressive enough to want to enter a war zone to clinically operate with the aim of killing the opposition. This conditioning is developed initially at recruit course and further developed at initial employment training/corps training. We naturally run from danger, but the military need us to run into it and eliminate the threat. Drill is conditioned into recruits by repetition and aggressive commands, these actions are practiced until they become instinctive. Individuals are punished for initial mistakes, but continual mistakes have the group punished. This tends to lead to the group punishing the individual/s responsible, not condoned by the hierarchy yet not suppressed. Once these actions are performed instinctively (regardless of opinion or feelings) it is rewarded with a graduation/march-out parade, leave and pay.

Infantry initial employment training is where contact drills are conditioned into each soldier/officer. At a contact the immediate action is to run, drop, crawl, observe and return fire. At the same time we are to yell out contact front/rear or ambush right/left. This is not natural as we have the human response to run from danger. This is conditioned into each soldier/officer by simulated weapons fire (using live/blank firing and other explosions) to have them instinctively response the military way. If a soldier/officer is not trained this way they will not function clinically to eliminate the threat, but run like a coward and may even endanger the lives of fellow team members and/or themselves. When we make such mistakes people die.

This training sets up the soldier/officer for post traumatic stress disorder, prior to them see active service. An example to clarify this would be where a riot occurs and they are targeting you. If you are not trained in the military methods you will probably run, a safe and good choice. If you have been trained the military way you will instinctively run into the rioting group to attack. In some cases this action is justifiable, but when you react this way towards daily situations (over reacting to each situation as if it were a life and death situation when it is not) regularly you need to wind down given the low threat level.

We were all taught to fight the enemy by exploding on/at them and by hating them and this helped us to kill, this was the end result regardless of the methodology. If we use the analogy of a barrel with different liquids representing different issues to explain the following. The barrel is filled mainly with “good stress” from bottom to about half way. At the top is the “stand-by” level, which activates the fight. Between the “good stress” and the “stand-by” level is the “alertness” level. “Major stresses” are on top of the “alertness” level, area of hyper-vigilance and exaggerated startle response, which are actioned on the overflow. These can be mines, contacts, identifying friend/foe…etc, which trigger the fight to begin.

We need anger and hate to release adrenalins into our system to be able to fight well, regardless of the circumstances around us at the time, such as a war zone. It is easy to reach the anger stage as we are taught so we can fight the enemy without reservation. The reward for this is survival, pay and medals usually. Given the survival factor, we believe that this cultural method of living is normal and foolproof. However, in normal civilian life it is detrimental to our heath and those around us. We tend to believe that this training “saved our lives” and adopt it forever. Some will remember this regimental saying, “Death is natures way of saying you failed selection”, which may also lead to feelings of survivor guilt.

Having left the war zone, the some liquids change meaning and we need to change our cultural system. “Good stress” still from bottom to half way, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) replaces “alertness” level, “anger” level replaces “stand-by” level and a “coping mechanism” (blocks the overflow from “alertness” to “stand-by”) now bridges between PTSD and “anger” level. “Major stresses” are now daily living such as money issues, work, family…etc. This “coping mechanism” is usually alcohol (depressant) and/or nicotine (stimulant), as we were encouraged to partake during our service time. Most things in excess can cause problems in life, so too self-medication such as alcohol and/or nicotine to “numb” reality instead of dealing with the real issues.

This “coping mechanism” needs to use relaxation techniques, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, problem solving skills, goal setting, time management…etc instead of alcohol and/or nicotine. Another common “coping mechanism” is the workaholic. This too needs the above suggestions. Our tolerance for “major stresses” decreases with age, so that issues that once did not bother us do as we get older, nice to know that this is normal and that we are not orphans in regards to it. We can deal with these stresses by several ways. Drug therapy can assist in coping, but talk therapy will reduce the PTSD and weaken the “instinctive behaviours” we trained hard to develop. By using relaxation techniques, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, problem solving skills, goal setting, time management…etc. we can learn new skills/methods to dealing with daily issues, enjoy life again and find the “balance” we need to really live, not just survive.

After I finished my military service I felt betrayed and angry, having been injured and discarded. I was not the same before I joined and I found it hard to relate to the civilian lifestyle, few understood or cared. Married & divorced twice, it took along time to reassimilate. Seeing life through my daughters’ eyes I began to enjoy living again. I developed a relationship with God (not a religion where rules dictate) and finished seminary to become a minister so I could help others, which I still do. I teach martial arts, which has discipline and structure similar to military training. This keeps me healthy and gives an outlet for aggression. PTSD, like other associated issues, is a difficult situation and can not be easily covered in a few pages. This attempt was to give the families and veterans some information to understand more about the reasons for PTSD and; some suggestions on how to deal with it. Talk to those who deal with such issues as PTSD for more specific help that is personalised. You can overcome if you try!


Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

Distinguished Guests, Serving and Ex-Serving Personnel, Ladies and Gentleman, as we gather this day to honour those who paid such a heavy price on so many Battlefields, the memories flow back of the many things we treasure so richly in our Service Lives.

1) The “mateship” of those called home, and those left behind, we honour them not only on ANZAC Day but on every day, the men and women of Australia and New Zealand.

2) The unit practical joker, who could be relied upon to lift our spirits, particularly prior to times of Action.

3) The “Stand To” times when every second was heard, and with keen eyesight everyone was catagorised as friend or foe.

4) The leave periods where a drink was shared, tales exchanged, but if any other Nation put an Aussie or Kiwi down for any reason, the “Mateship” was instantly displayed and defended. I share these thoughts with you to emphasise the “Spirit of ANZAC”, which I believe began at first settlement, and was built upon through a host of Campaigns up to this present day.

Some examples we might consider are:

1) The Boer War, fought on the plains of Southern Africa.


2) The 8th Light Horse Regiments victory at Beersheba, liberated Israel from 400 years of Turkish rule.

3) Flanders Fields of France, against the might of Germany.

4) Gallipoli against the stubborn Turk, on their own turf.

5) Our pilots who fought so valiantly in the Battle of Brittain.

6) The Kokoda Trail, hand to hand against the Japanese invader.

7) South-East Asia and so many bitterly fought Pacific battles.

8) The Naval and Air Force units engaging massive odds when supporting the ground forces through thick and thin.

9) The Merchant Navy who carried the vital supplies.

10) The Korean U.N. conflict. Hill 108 where our Allies ran, but the Aussie Battalion stood firm against massive Chinese odds, which earned them a Presidential Citation from the United States.

11) The Malaya & Borneo Campaigns, which proved so successful.

12) The Battle of Long Tan, where an ambush with impossible odds against our blokes was the near destruction of D445, which was compromised mainly of the North Vietnamese Army and some local irregulars; U.S. Presidential Citation for D Company 6 R.A.R.; many Citations for the Australian Army Training Unit; and 1 R.A.R. Meritous Unit Citation with the 173rd Airborne.

13) Let us not forget the Ladies of our Nation. Some on the battlefield, others bringing up the family while dad was away doing his duty. Sadly, no medals for many of them, but they proudly did their part in the homes and factories of our Nation.

14) Our Special Operations U.N. personnel serving abroad both past and present. The Middle East and Kashmir in ’75, Iran-Iraq in ’88, Namibia and Peshawar in ’89, Kuwait in ‘90-’91, West Sahara and Cambodia in ’91, Balkans and Somalia in ’92, Mozambique and Rwanda in ’94, East Timor in ’99, Afganistan in 2002…and other Peace-keeping operations around the world.

15) Finally, I would like to thank our Community Anzacs. The beeper sounds/phone rings and members of the Ambulance, Fire Service, Police, C.W.A., R.V.C.P., S.E.S., the families of those men and women, and so many other Community Organisations become a fighting arm, at bush and grass fires, accident scenes, rescue sites, natural and civil disasters.

ANZAC as a title may have originated at Gallipoli, but the spirit within it has always been there. Scratch an Aussie in times of trial and see that spirit emerge. In a short time it is impossible to truly express our gratitude to those who have gone before us, paying the supreme sacrifice. They will never be forgotten, but honoured, and with pride remembered as true ANZACs.



God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks to you today for the peace and security we enjoy. We remember those who in time of war faithfully served our country. We pray for the families, and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a precious cost. We thank you for the peace that can only come from You and the reassurance of your love for us as individuals. Make us a people zealous for peace, hasten the day when nation shall not lift up sword against another nation. This we pray in the name of the one who gave His life for the sake of the world: Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. AMEN.


What does ANZAC Day mean ? - A holiday to relax? - Celebration of war and past glories? - Memorial of sacrifices made for peace and freedom? - What does it mean to you personally?

Today we remember those whom sacrificed themselves, passed on, those here present (past and current) Army, Air Force, Navy (part-time, full-time, reserve and conscript) whom served our country. I look to the next generation to pass on the baton / carry the torch / bear the burden for the future freedom of our nation. These sacrifices which have made Australia the safest country in the world to bring up our children.

When a protestor burns our country’s flag. They may take their own thread only, but please don’t burn the whole flag / our flag, which many others and I fought to defend. Historically speaking, some past service members were welcomed home on return from active duty, while others were persecuted and shamed for serving their country (whether willing or not).

I personally wish to welcome and thank you for your service to our nation. - Thank you for my personal freedom which I enjoy on a personal level. - Thank you for my family’s freedom which we enjoy together. - Thank you for the community’s freedom, which we all enjoy today, because of your dedicated service for these given causes.

Today we Honour you as you so rightly deserve. Thank you again. Let us Pray!


Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

Today we gather to celebrate Remembrance Day, the fallen in the War against Germany 1914 – 1918. The war to end all wars, haven’t we failed those gone before us! The statistics of that war are 8 million dead and over 8 million wounded.

When Archduke Franz-Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo on 8 June 1914 it began a chain of events that resulted in war being declared by Germany on Russia, Belgium, France and Brittain on 1 August 1914. On 4 August 1914, Brittain declared war on Germany officially and the ‘call to arms’ went out to her Allies of which Australia was one who played a major role.

We sacrificed 240 000 of our young men and many more wounded. When you stop to consider the population of only 3.5 million in Australia at that time, it shows the calibre of loyalty, bravery and courage that was displayed at both Gallipoli and in France, at that critical time in both European and Australian history.

From 10 September 1914, when Germany set up a defence line from the Ocean and along the Meuse Mountains and Hills, the war swayed back and forth along that line until the conflict came to an end. New technology such as aircraft, tanks and the use of gas brought to this conflict a new and frightening way battles would be fought, even to this very day.

If you read historical books on this subject, the issues that shine brightly are the ‘mateship’ and humour that were displayed every time the uniform was donned. That is as true today as back then. Those two factors alone have saved many Australian lives in every war we have fought.

Today we come together to remember Armistice Day when an end came to that terrible conflict throughout Europe, a day each year when a red poppy is worn as a symbol of the blood that flowed. We wear it with pride, with reverence, and with a hope in our hearts. That the people of this Nation will never forget those young men, whom gave their all, because duty called and the job had to be done. They did it with courage and honour. Today we remember their sacrifice for our freedom, that we too often take for granted!


Father God, we come together this day, to look back with pride on a group of young men and women, who left our shores with good hearts, and a desire to stop those who were our enemy at that time. They rest peacefully with You because they did their duty, without fear or favour, with courage and honour, and our admiration. We Will Remember Them. Amen.

This we pray in the name of the one who gave His life for the sake of the world: Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. AMEN.


Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

The Australian Prime Minister, of the day, Ben Chifley stated, “Fellow citizens, the war is over”. A salute of 101 guns was fired at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, and 34 United Nations flags fluttered above the Memorial. Commenting on The Hour of Victory, the Sydney Morning Herald said: “It is fitting that today, like yesterday, should be given over to rejoicing. No less than any other of the victorious peoples, Australians have survived the most pointed and deadly peril. With Britain and our sister Dominions we have, alone among the Allied nations, borne our full brunt of the war in both hemispheres and throughout its duration.

“The war… was won by the grit and intelligence of the nations whom the Japanese assailed with all the insolence and brutality of a barbarian horde relying on a momentum intended to be invincible… Japan’s defeat closes the most terrible and far-flung war in history”. Japan surrendered unconditionally to the allies on September 2nd, 1945, in a short formal ceremony on board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. General Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Military Forces, signed on behalf of Australia.

It was significant that, on that day, not one senior Japanese commander wore his sword. In subsequent ceremonies across South-East Asia, however, these swords would play a major part in the surrender. The sword represented the soldiers’ social and military standing, a sentiment that went back to the days of the samurai for whom the sword was more than a weapon. It represented his authority over others, his self-discipline and his code of honour. The blades of the Japanese officers’ swords were often family heirlooms, carefully preserved and passed down the generations to be re-mounted for each new battle. This meant that giving up a sword had a greater symbolic and emotional effect on the Japanese than the ritual of surrender itself.

The Australians determined the place and form of the ceremonies. Lieutenant Colonel E.M. Robson insisted on the maximum humiliation by making the Japanese surrendering officer, Major General Uno, bow down and lay the sword at his feet, not on the table. Throughout the war, approximately 30,000 Australians had been taken prisoner of whom 8,591 were captured by the Germans – 1,941 AIF men in North Africa, 2,065 in Greece, 3,109 in Crete, 1,476 RAAF crew and some RAN and merchant seamen. Most of these, 97 per cent, survived the malnutrition, dysentery and ill treatment that were part of camp life. The remaining 21,467 were taken by the Japanese in Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies. But more than a third of those, 7,964 died in captivity from disease and brutalities. Almost 600 were executed and about 1,500 drowned when the ships transporting them to Japan were torpedoed.

Tragically, the worst single atrocity committed on Australian POWs occurred in north Borneo at the end of the war when, of about 1,100 allied prisoners were forced to march through the fetid jungle from Sandakan to Ranau, only six (6) survived. The initial 2,970 Sandakan POWs, of whom almost 2,000 were Australians, had been shipped from Singapore’s infamous Changi POW camp and Java in 1942 and 1943 to build an airfield. At first, conditions were no worse than at most other camps, but by 1944 rations were woefully inadequate, causing sickness and malnutrition. Then brutality took its toll with the arrival of Formosan guards who systematically beat and bashed the prisoners, a favourite target being their ulcerated limbs.

For every joyous homecoming of the Australian servicemen and women, there were difficult adjustments to civil life. Some who had spent years in captivity could not make the transition and remained shattered, physically or emotionally, for the rest of their lives. For these people and their families, the war was a disaster, just as it was for the families of those who had been killed. These were the invisible scars borne with dignity and silence to this day by people for whom the war will never end. Australians looked forward with hope to the new nation that would emerge with peace.

Around Australia (at that time), 737 Repatriation Local Committees were set up, mostly staffed by volunteers, to investigate applications for pensions, medical treatment, job training, land settlement, business establishment, war gratuities, education and housing. The Returned Services League of Australia & many other Ex-service organisations continue this work today. While the living were taken care of, there remained the task of commemorating the 101,086 dead of both world wars in cemeteries and memorials around the world. The year was 1945. At the end of six (6) years of global war. Australia was exhausted, thankful and proud to have endured her sternest test as a nation. Lest we forget.

Heroes from WWI, William “Fighting Mac” McKenzie (12/1869-26/7/1947)

Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

Who are your personal heroes? Who do you look up to/want to be like? Why did Aussies want to go to WWI? It was an honour to serve in the military, an adventure, chance to make a stand. Initial recruits were called “Dinkum Aussies” Later recruits were called “Fair Dinkums”. These soldiers were full of zest for life, adventure and fun! Americanisms-‘cool man, dude and guys’-were never used by ANZACs. Aussie-‘strewth, crikey, mate, cobber’ – were often used by ANZACs.

Chaplains with the ANZAC Spirit

W J Dunbar

William Dexter

Spencer Maxted

Oswald Chambers

William ‘Fighting Mac’ McKenzie>/p>

Born in December 1869 in Biggar, Lanarkshire Scotland. Family was deeply religious, but Mac was adventurous, fought often and good student At 12 mac left school to work on his fathers’ farm, but an adventurous spirit drove him to new life in Australia. Fought on ship with Irish migrants, where the ships’ Captain intervened. At 15 Mac worked on Cattle station, was an accomplished horseman and developed love for Australian Bush. Worked at Bundaberg sugar plantation, where used 50 Kanakas and 20 Chinese labourers-all under Macs’ supervision. These labourers worked better under this 17 y.o. than previous supervisors-leadership qualities already apparent. Mac was regular at pubs and other Bundaberg drinking holes-drinking, fighting and rough life.

Pub crawl led to Salvation Army meeting/service, childhood reality of God rekindled, missed past family times-somewhat like Mel Gibson returning to his childhood faith in recent years! Two well-known Scotsmen, hard-drinkers, fighters and swearers gave testimony how God changed their lives for the better-which impressed Mac. Macs’ youngest sister died, disturbing him, restless sleep for a long time. One morning 4am God spoke audibly, “Go to Bundaberg and join Salvation Army!” This same voice Mac heard in both Gallipoli and France, spoke 4 consecutive mornings Mac finally rode 16 miles into Bundaberg, repented and returned home. Mac studied the Bible, but his fervour and unorthodox ways won over many, conducting services with his younger brother.

Carried books, clothes and other gear walking to meetings throughout Victoria Transferred to Queensland, successful in Toowoomba, Charters Towers, Townsville and Ipswich. Met Anne in Toowoomba, married in June 1909. Taught chivalry to sons-a real family man! Travelled with family preaching around Australia. Returning home from Salvation Army Convention in England, heard WWI declared on ship 25/9/1914 volunteered for military service, 1st Salvation Army chaplain in 1 AIF at 44 Given 24 hours notice of departure, enjoyed family time, told them at 21:00-who did same?

Went to Sydney and then shipped out to Gallipoli, not everyone returned home as we know! Everyone needed to “prove their metal”, Mac was no exception! Fighting Mac had spiritual insight and bush sense, undefeated boxer on-board for tour duration. Mac removed “Billijims” out of the brothels physically, reminded these youths how their mothers and sisters may disapprove of their ideas-remembered undefeated boxer-incentive to comply! Mac burnt Cairo brothels in Battle of Hazzir. Mac never forgot his family, wrote and instructed members regularly.

Gallipoli and Dardenelles seemed an adventure of a lifetime, but 2 out of 3 were dead, wounded, sick or captured as POW Mac was recommended for VC, but both officers died before submitting recommendation Mac charged enemy with shovel, chaplains were not allowed to bear arms, proved himself. Mac said, “Boys, I have lived with you, I’ve preached to you and I’ve prayed with you. Do you think I’m now afraid to die with you? Where my boys go. I go!” Said of Mac that he “…served both his Lord and his ‘boys’ with every ounce of courage and strength he possessed.” and that “Men realised as never before that the most manly thing to do is to worship and glorify God”, especially in troubled times such as these.

After battles Mac would stay behind and collect ID Tags and pay books from the dead to write and inform their families of the bravery and sacrifice made, often loosing sleep to finish these. Mac loved his boys as a father, big-hearted and always cheerful. Mac said, “I know why you follow so close behind me boys! It was because I had your pay packets in my pocket!” Said of Mac that “He made religion live and lived it himself, never ramming it down tired men’s throats” Mac started the “Letters to Lonely Soldiers” by asking newspapers to have readers write in. Overwhelmed by 1st request, averaged 1000 letters per week, to soldiers by readers in support.

Mac was awarded Military Cross by King George and promoted to LCOL by Salvation Army GEN Booth. Gallipoli cost 250 000 (dead, wounded and missing). 1916 Mac shipped to France with 4th Battalion, served in Pozieres, Bullecourt, Polygon, Wood, Passchedaele and “The Somme” (gateway to hell). 330 000 Aussies served, 215 000 killed, wounded, POW. (65% killed, 1 in 5 killed. In relation to today’s population 1000 000). Mac’s guardian angel saved him at least 6 times (told move, wait, retreat, advance, stop…ect.) Mud, walked on duckboards, 2 soldiers sank, retrieved by Mac, dead on rescue due to exhaustion, cold, sickness and malnutrition.

War took its toll on Mac personally-PTSD, sleep disorders…ect. Returned to Australia, battle-hardened cried at the executive decision. Awarded Salvation Army highest honour, Order of the Founder, by GEN Booth Departed with brass bands, flags, cheers and tears from hardened officers and soldiers. Shook hands with everyone present at formal parade. Welcomed home at Melbourne’s Exhibition Building, 7000 packed inside (1500 RSL). Tent erected for interviews, diggers travelled 100’s miles to thank Mac, Women with tears, often gripping letters that Mac wrote to them, waited in line and thank the one who’d buried/shown kindness to their son, father, husband.

1927 Mac appointed to Command the Salvation Army in China. Arrived during famine, war, shootings civil war and death were rife. Human flesh publicly sold as food on Yellow River. Mac held up by bandits-responded, passport guaranteed safe passage by president. 1930 returned to Australia during the Depression. Called for courage and tenacity, using ANZAC analogy, stating, “We must put our backs to the burden. Think not of what you can get, but what you can give to help Australia..." ”Typical of selfless attitude of ANZAC’s, not of today’s “you owe me”

Mac died on 26/7/1947, with family present. Funeral held at Congress Hall, Salvation Army Commissioner James Hay conducted service. Donald McKenzie (Son) tribute

“…my hero, a knight in shining armour, who had taught his children the highest ideals, particularly chivalry. He walked and talked with Jesus, and Jesus was his master, he combined humility, purity, goodness and gentleness of a saint. It is a very great honour to be his son and, a great responsibility. He set a standard which is extremely hard to maintain…”

Brigadier McIlveen tribute “I leaned over him and kissed his forehead and said, ‘Fighting Mac’, I am kissing you for a multitude of men, who would love to do it, for all that you did for them.”

Funeral procession brought city to standstill. Commissioner Hay, Band, Salvation Army Officers, returned soldiers marched 6 abreast down Wentworth Ave, mounted police escorted the ‘long cortege’ to Rookwood. Flag draped coffin with the warriors service cap and Bible on it. Standing room only at cemetery, 21 gun salute Sun sank into western sky as 2 khaki –clad soldiers sounded Last Post and Reveille We too will stand for Last Post, 3 minutes silence and Reveille in honour of all ANZAC’s, whom paid the price, many the ultimate price, for the freedom we now too often take for granted! LEST WE FORGET!


God of the nations, whose kingdom rules over all, have mercy on our broken and divided world. Shed abroad your peace in the hearts of all people and banish from us the spirit that makes war; that all races and peoples may learn to live as members of one family and in obedience to your laws; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!


Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

The Vietnam Veteran was welcomed home officially on 3 October 1987 in Sydney. I want to welcome those veterans present, those whom attended to the wounded during their service and on their return home and the families at home. The Vietnam Veterans were widely belittled, abused and harassed along with their families on their return home. Even cowards attacked the women and children of veterans while the men were serving their country. Mostly veterans were not welcomed, understood or appreciated by the misinformed, as were veterans of previous wars such as WWI and WWII. Although many veterans are physically here, some may still be at war mentally, as they never left the Vietnam conflict in the recesses of their minds.

They went alone & returned feeling alone, alienated and aggrieved. Some questioned why they survived and were not killed along with their mates. This often results in self-condemnation, which can lead to suicide. The “no trust” attitude developed, which results in treating everyone as the enemy, just like they were trained. They returned home very different from when they first left to serve in Vietnam, unaccepted and rejected by many for their service. They felt naked without their weapon, which became a lifeline during their service in combat. They were made to feel out of place, not able to fit in nor feel comfortable in society. On returning home, sadly some are still searching for the place they left behind, before Vietnam. Many left like boys, but came home hardened men, many returned different mentally, physically and spiritually; than when they left Australia for the Vietnam conflict.

They experienced such incidents as:

the Battles of Long Tan, where an ambush with impossible odds against our blokes was the near destruction of D445, which compromised mainly of North Vietnamese Army and some local irregulars. This resulted in a U.S. Presidential Citation for D Company 6 R.A.R.

Battles in Ho Bo woods, the Iron War zoned Triangle, which resulted in 1 R.A.R. receiving a Meritous Unit Citation with 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Battles of Coral, Balmoral and Tet ’68.

Many Citations for the Australian Army Training Unit.

When Politicians compromise, soldiers loose heart, the motivation for serving originally. We are here to remember and honour the 520 KIA, 4 MIA, 2398 WIA and all those whom served during the Vietnam conflict.

“From the fight zone to the twilight zone on a bird of paradise.”

I say again, Welcome Home Lads, Welcome Home! Let us pray.

Lord, we pray that You continue to bless Australia. We ask that You will lift up strong Christian leaders to protect our values and speak out against those things that would turn us away from You. We pray that our families and society will not disintegrate for want of knowing You, but that we will draw ever closer to You and Your Word. Lord, we pray that the generations to follow will be faithful to You and Your authority. We ask that the great nation for whom our brave predecessors fought, bled and died will not be forsaken in todays’ era of political correctness and selfish ambition. Lord, we place Australia in Your Hands. Amen.

Korean Veterans Remembered

Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

On June 25, 1950, without warning North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel and captured the South Korea Capital, Seoul. In the closing stages of WWII, USSR entered the Pacific War and moved its troops down the Korean peninsula. USA, concerned about these actions, moved northwards to the 38th Parallel, where both nations agreed not to pass. This was divided into the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the North and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the South. On 25 June 1950 DPRK (North) invaded ROK (South). The ROK appealed to the UN for help on 26 June 1950 and on 27 June help was authorised. Police Action, MASH comment, Sea-world, Anarchy-Iraq, welcome Police present.

The UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg (smallest combat unit), France, Greece, Turkey, Ethiopia, Thailand, South Africa, Philippines, Australia (relatively small population, meaningful and significant contribution), New Zealand, Canada, Columbia and USA committed combat forces to help ROK. Australia supported this war by the RAAF from 2 July 1950 with Mustangs to escort US C-47 planes bringing back wounded, the RAN from 7 July 1950 to assist with blockades of the West coast of Korea by HMAS Shoalhaven, the 3 RAR’s from 27 September 1950 where 3 RAR embarked on the Aiken Victory for Southern Korean port of Pusan. Throughout the 3 year war, the three branches of the ADF were supported by a variety of units based in Japan.

For most who served in the Korean War, the memories remain vivid. All were affected by their experiences, which in turn influenced their lives in varying ways. Australian casualties were 339 KIA or died of wounds, 1 216 wounded and survived, 29 POW’s. Thousands were injured or became ill from a variety of causes, there after. Combat operations ceased on 27 July 1953, when an Armed Truce Agreement was signed at Panmunjom. Three years and one month after the tragic war was started, a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was established in the almost identical position where the war started, the 38th Parallel.

Today the Guns are silent. We have experienced sacrifice and victory. There is no going back to the past, we must go forward and contribute to the future in a positive manner. Let us make the future better than our past. Today we remember those whom sacrificed their today for our tomorrow. Let us live in a way to honour their sacrifice for us.


God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks to you today for the peace and security we enjoy. We remember those who in time of war faithfully served our country. We pray for the families, and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a precious cost. We thank you for the peace that can only come from You and the reassurance of your love for us as individuals. Make us a people zealous for peace, hasten the day when nation shall not lift up sword against another nation.This we pray in the name of the one who gave His life for the sake of the world: Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. AMEN.

Young Soldier

Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

Distinguished guests, ladies, gentlemen and children.

The average age of the Australian male soldier is 19 years. He has short hair, tight muscles and normally is considered by society as half man and half boy. He is old enough to vote, drink alcohol, drive, but more than old enough to die for his country. He never really cared for work and would rather polish his own car than wash his fathers, but he would rather work on the weekend than have his parents pay his way. He is a recent high school graduate, probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activity, drives a 10 year old car, has a girl friend that either broke-up with him when he left for military service, or she promised to be waiting for his return from active military service.

He listens to Rock and Roll, Hip Hop, Rap, Jazz or Swing music and to 155mm Howitzer Cannons. He is 5-10 kg lighter now than when he was at home because he works/fights from before dawn to after dusk. He has trouble spelling, so writing letters is rare for him, but he can strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in even less time in the dark. He can recite the specifications of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if needed. He digs fighting bays, latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of uniforms, wears one and washes the other. He keeps his canteen full and his feet dry. He may sometimes forget to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, administer first aid as required. If you are thirsty, he will share his water ration with you, if you are hungry, he will share his food ration with you. He will even share his ammunition with you during a battle when you run low-only if you are on the same side!

He has learned to use his hands like they were weapons and weapons like they were his own hands. He can save your life or take it, because that is his job! He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humour in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime so far. He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies and helped to cause them. He has wept publicly and privately for friends who have fallen in combat, unashamedly!

He feels every note of the National Anthem and the Last Post vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to “square away” those around him who refuse to pay due respect by remaining sat, talk or wear hats during this solemn ceremony. Ironically, daily and serving distant from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful and ungrateful for his many others defense of their right. Just as his father, grandfather and great-grandfather-he is paying the price for the freedom too many take for granted in our society today! Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the Australian fighting man whom has kept our country free since Federation. He has asked for nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood, sweat and tears.

We meet today, not to celebrate or glorify war, but to remember those whom have served our country during conflict and crisis. We also remember those on the home-front, families and friends, those supplying the material and moral strength to our fighting forces-for theirs was not a lesser service to Australia. ANZAC Day is not a time for honouring war, for war is not something to be honoured. We do, however, at this time honour people of Australia and New Zealand whom have participated in warfare to protect our freedom, regardless of personal opinion and the risk of personal injury or death.

To those who have made the sacrifice, ultimately through death or injury or everlasting memories that haunt, on ANZAC Day we publicly state: “Be proud of your service for our country and all Australians, we are proud of you!” Parade yourselves confident in the knowledge that your services are appreciated by all whom you have helped with humanitarian aide, peace-keeping or other conflict resolution strategy. You have helped maintain a tradition, which our young nation can display with honour publicly. We acknowledge the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Australian Defense Force by remembering:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, whom has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, whom has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the university campus organizer, whom has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier whom salutes the Australian flag, serve beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, and whom allows the protester to burn our national flag to demonstrate their contempt and disrespect for the freedom our society all too often takes for granted which is daily defended by our military personnel. Lest We Forget!

WWI Chaplains

Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

Chaplains went to Gallipoli, France and Belgium ANZAC Legend of courage, resourcefulness, and undying mateship Ministers came from rural/suburban churches with mainly women congregations Suddenly relocated to all-male environments Men trained/expected to kill for King and Commonwealth Chaplain TP Bennet stated it was strange to serve Prince of Peace in the Army Chaplains demonstrated muscular Christianity, served God, King, Country - no problem, but soldiers/officers saw Christians as wimps Chaplains were not popular initially, but won respect due to how they treated the men in the field of battle personally and conduct in daily events. Theoretically, behind front line to conduct religious services, wholesome entertainment and help in the hospital with the wounded, but far removed from battle? Gallipoli had no rear line, often shelled and fired upon by snipers, same risks as soldiers at the front of battle! Chaplains lived the same life, ate same food, involved in every aspect of the soldiers’ lives, took risks helping the wounded, collected details of those killed in the open field of fire-admired for courage!

Typical week day was from dawn in the trenches, visiting the wounded, moved through the valley visiting various units in their care/responsibility, until they reached the front, distributed mail/parcels, socialised and encouraged soldiers. Typical Sunday, up to 5 services from beaches to the front, moving around so much put chaplains at more risk than soldiers. Soldiers, generally, stayed in trenches/sheltered areas. Those whom moved were most at risk from shell and sniper attacks. 18 Hour days, burial at night. Physically demanding walking from beaches to front up hills and winding narrow tracks, shot at during the day, funerals at night, burying friends-emotional strain of death daily, writing to families and getting deeply emotional responses mailed back-physical and emotional strain! Dealing with the wounded, bodily parts missing and/ hanging out, risk of infection, worsening injuries. Some wounded brought in after several days in hot sun, tearing bandages off sunburnt soldiers-horrific conditions-some in agony yet quiet, physical and emotional scars - counselling, no recognition of PTSD, viewed as lacked courage. Chaplains were sympathetic and experienced, joked with soldiers as tared off bandages, soldiers were grateful for clean dressings -memorable moments! Tough to be a Chaplain! Often chaplains would overhear soldiers discuss their desires-eggs-chaplain searched out eggs for each man -<500. Chaplains served above and beyond the Call - I could follow these chaplains in war, what about you?

A Chaplain physically cut steps into tracks on a hillside to make travel easier for the water and stretcher bearers. Day of battle at First Aid post, helping with wounded, some stayed close behind attack to be close to soldiers to minister to wounded and dying during battles, major work after battle, help wounded, administer last rites to dying, sad task of identifying dead/tag identification* several bags per battle, then multiple burials over a short space of time-emotional strain of burying friends! Quinns Post-fiercest battles, Turkish and British trenches were metres apart, Chaplains visited their soldiers there. Chaplain diaries noted myths of chaplains leading charges against the enemy and actively fighting. If a chaplain carried a soldiers rifle to help, it was rumoured that he lead a charge. A New Zealand Chaplain was known to be militant, carrying a revolver, performed a Haka which frightened the enemy, they believed he was going to eat them? Chaplains conducted church services throughout the trenches where men gathered, few dozen at a time.

Picture a Sunday afternoon: The Chaplain walks through shrapnel valley singing hymns, soldiers come out of “dough-outs” like rabbits out of a warren, congregate in relatively sheltered areas, the church service is conducted, can see a few fires in the hills, stars are clearly visible in the evening sky, occasional shell fire, services conducted on the beach, soldiers sing hymns, marching platoon joins in as they pass by, sentries in other posts take up the song, men in trenches join in concession - comradeship, unity, comfort (WWII POW sang “Abide with me” as led into captivity) easy to overlook ANZAC Chaplains, but they worked and suffered alongside soldiers and friends.

Chaplain Blackwood stated that the Australian soldier was a hypocrite/camouflage artist, pretended he had no religion, most cases, below the surface, deep sense of God and moral law. Those not religious found comfort in the rituals of prayer and song (like with funerals today). Chaplains did so much to relieve the burdens on soldiers, families appreciated that ministers conducted services/funerals over fallen comrades. The ANZAC Legend has become its own religion for many Australians & New Zealanders, has more conventional religious aspects as well. Though rarely acknowledged, Faith and Religion played a relevant part in the ANZAC Legend. Be proud of your heritage, don’t chase foreign heritage such as USA or UK, our forefathers proved their worthiness on the world stage and are due our respect and thanks. Today the Guns are silent. We have experienced sacrifice & victory. There is no going back to the past, we must go forward and contribute to the future in a positive manner! Let us make the future better than our past. Today, we remember those whom sacrificed their today for our tomorrow. Let us live & honour their sacrifice for us.

Declaration of Confidence in God’s Protection

Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, RSL Chaplain,

No weapon that is formed against me/us shall prosper and every tongue which rises against me/us in judgement I/we condemn. This is my/our heritage as servant/s of the Lord and my/our righteousness is from You, O Lord of Hosts. If there are those who have been speaking harm or evil to me/us to me/us or seeking harm or evil to me/us or who have rejected me/us, I/we bless them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now I/we declare, O Lord, that You and You alone are my/our God, and besides You there is no other- a just God and a Saviour, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit- I/we worship You!

I/We submit ourselves afresh to you now in unreserved obedience. Having submitted to You, Lord, I/we do as Your Word directs. I/We resist the devil: all his pressures, his attacks, his deceptions, every instrument or agent he would seek to use against me/us. I/We do not submit! I/We resist him, drive him from me/us and exclude him from me/us in the Name of Jesus. Specifically, I/We reject and repel:

-infirmity -pain

-infection -inflammation

-malignancies -allergies

-viruses -every form of witchcraft

Finally, Lord, I/we thank You that through the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, I/we have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham whom You blessed in all things:

-exaltation -health

-reproductiveness -prosperity

-victory -God’s favour

/We bind the works of Jezebel, Death, Hell, and the Antichrist over my/our life/lives and family/ies. I/We say “The Lord rebuke you”. Father God I/we ask that You send Your ministering angels to wage warfare to accomplish Your divine purpose in my/our lives and the lives of my/our family/ies. I/We thank you that the Holy Spirit is loosed to work in my/our life/lives and on behalf of me/us.



Compiled by Archbishop Dr. Peter McInnes, AICA Primate, Chaplain,

Father, I praise You that I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and that I shall remain stable & fixed under the shadow of the Almighty . I will say of You, Lord, “The Lord is my refuge and my fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust!”

For then You will deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Then You will cover me with Your pinions (feathers), and under Your wings shall I trust and find refuge. Your truth and Your faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.

I shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots & slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but it shall not come near me. Only a spectator shall I be as I witness the reward of the wicked.

Because I have made You, Lord, my refuge, and the Most High my dwelling place, there shall no evil befall me, nor any plague or calamity come near my tent. For You will give Your angels especial charge over me, to accompany and defend and preserve me in all my ways of obedience and service. Your angels shall bear me up on their hands, lest I dash my foot against a stone.

I shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall I trample underfoot. Because I have set my love upon You, therefore will You deliver me. You will set me on high, because I know and understand Your Name.

I have a personal knowledge of Your mercy, love and kindness. I trust and rely on You, knowing You will never forsake me, no, never. I shall call upon You, and You will answer me. You will be with me in trouble. You will deliver me and honour me. With long life will You satisfy me and show me Your salvation!

(taken from the Amplified Bible)