We're being encouraged to pause for a moment today, to remember the hundreds of thousands of Australians living with post-traumatic stress, and specifically the thousands affected post- military deployment.
June 21 is Recognition Day, and founder of Stand Tall 4 PTS - former serviceman and cricketer Tony Dell - says we should all be taking the chance to pay respects.
"Just to remember the tens of thousands of veterans whose names aren't on the war memorial wall, who've died as a result of coming home and suffering from mental trauma"
"We need to get people just to remember these souls and their families, who've passed on as a result of PTS. I am going to lay a wreath at the Sign of Remembrance at Ann Street at 1 o'clock. If there's anyone in the city who wants to join us, that's fine"
Dell lives with PTS himself.
Dell was a national serviceman in 1966 to 1968 and deployed to Vietnam with 2RAR in 1967/68. On his return he played five seasons of Sheffield Shield cricket with Queensland and was lucky enough to play two test matches for Australia with Ian Chappell as his captain.
“I saw things in Vietnam that the human brain is not meant to experience…”
It was 40 years later, that Dell was diagnosed.
He says those whose names are not on memorial walls are no less our heroes.
"I talk about the fact that two guys could be in a skirmish in Afghanistan, one gets killed and the other is wounded. [The wounded] is repatriated home and his life is never ever the same and eventually he might commit suicide and, to my way of thinking, two guys died on that battlefield"
WHAT IS PTS?
PTS is contracted when the human brain is subjected to some sort of adverse experience, tragic event or fear that it wasn’t built to withstand. This can have just a short term affect or it can be long lasting, depending on the person and the event.
In cases of longer lasting PTS, it is mainly contracted in situations where the person has to get on with the job he or she is doing and move on to the next phase.
PTS is prominently associated with the Military but it also affects many others in the service of their community. These people include the Police Force, Fire Fighters, Ambulance and Paramedic personnel, SES, Doctors and Nurses. It even affects Funeral Parlour personnel, Train Drivers and those innocent victims of crime, accidents and natural disasters.
Remember, if you need help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or head to StandTall4PTS.org