Supporting the health and wellbeing of veterans through eating well was the theme when the local veteran community gathered for the annual Beaudesert Veterans’ Health Week Luncheon.
Peter Higgins from Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch coordinated the event in line with Veteran’s Health Week initiatives across the nation.
The function room at The Club, Beaudesert was filled with 37 guests made up of Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch members, including the Women’s Auxiliary, Beaudesert Legacy ladies and members of the 11 Combat Service Support Battalion.
Mr Higgins shared information about nutrition with guests in lieu of them hearing from guest speaker, accredited practicing dietician and nutritionist Lisa Adams, who unfortunately could not get there.
Mr Higgins told the Bulletin that Veterans’ Health Week had been marked locally since the 1990s, organised by the Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch with support from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
Mr Higgins, who is also a mentor for the Pensions Advocacy Welfare Service (PAWS) at Beaudesert RSL Sub Branch, said it was important to focus on veterans’ health.
“The whole idea is to keep the veteran community going and to make sure they’re mixing together, and their mental health is looked after,” he said.
“Mental health is important everywhere but particularly for veterans because most of us have been to war. I’ve been in Vietnam, and a whole lot of us have been in Vietnam, and a lot of these younger blokes have been in Afghanistan and all over the place.
“The young blokes who are working in PAWS section now are actually Afghanistan veterans – they’re wanting to support their own kind, because other people don’t understand.
“It’s the same as anything – police, ambulance, teachers – that’s why they group together. The only people who understand are the ones who were there or who’ve actually been through the same thing.
“It’s not to glorify war, none of us glorify war even on Anzac Day we don’t glorify war, because we’ve done it. It’s peace we’re looking after. That’s what it’s all about, and DVA go out of their way to look after us.”