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RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association (Vic) ABN 34 550 672 219

NEWSLETTER MARCH 2009 www.raafvva.org.au


RAAFVVA NEWSLETTER The official journal of the RAAF Vietnam Veterans Association (Vic), a Sub-Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Victorian Branch Incorporated. (Reg. No. A0029247G. ABN 34 750 672 219) Patron: Air Vice Marshal E. M. Weller AM PRESIDENT

Nick LeRay-Meyer AM

Phone (03) 9386-6961 nicklm1@bigpond.com

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Brendan Lynch

Phone (03) 9741-4157

VICE PRESIDENT

Lee Scully

Phone (03) 9827-8313

SECRETARY

Rick Holmes

PO Box 462 Ascot Vale Vic 3032 Phone (03) 9317-7304 rickh12@bigpond.com

TREASURER

Maree Jongkryg

PO Box 73 Melton Vic 3337 Phone (03) 9743-1273 beau.1@optusnet.com.au

WELFARE OFFICER

Lee Scully

Phone (03) 9827-8313

ASST SEC/MEMBERSHIP

Gareth Davis

Phone (03) 9878-7940 davis1@westnet.com.au

COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMITTEE MEMBER COMMITTEE MEMBER

Alan White Pieter Jongkryg Bob Brackin Andy Lapins Geoff Rose Neil Morgan

Phone (03) 9584-1836 Phone (03) 9743-1273 Phone (03) 9534-8683 Phone (03) 9511-4693 Phone (03) 9744-4212 Phone (03) 9687-8871

WEBMASTER PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIAL PROJECTS

Anthony (Tony) Pahl OAM Tony Wheal Graeme Dodd OAM

bushranger@internode.on.net Phone (03) 5254-2738 Phone (03) 9852-1653

RAAF REGIONAL ADVOCACY, WELFARE AND PENSIONS OFFICERS Bill Wiltshire (Advocacy, Pensions & Welfare) Ron McMullen (Pensions & Welfare information only) Brendan and Pat Lynch (Welfare) David Taffe (Welfare & Pensions) Audrey Elliott (Welfare & Pensions) Rob Hart (Welfare) Lee and Ellen Scully (Welfare)

Melton Laverton Werribee Kilmore Wallan Broadford Melbourne Metro Area

Phone (03) 9746-9582 Phone (03) 9746-9582 Phone (03) 9741-4157 Phone (03) 5782-2779 Phone (03) 5783-1567 Phone (03) 5784-4096 Phone (03) 9827-8313

VETERANS’ CENTRES SUPPORTED BY RAAFVVA Western Suburbs Veterans and Services Centre Melbourne Veterans and Services Centre

Phone (03) 9746-9582 Phone (03) 9282-3518

Fax (03) 9746-9583 Fax (03) 9282-7854

DISCLAIMER The material, comments and/or extracts of articles appearing in the “RAAF VIETNAM VETERANS NEWSLETTER” is of a general nature only and neither purports to be, nor is intended to be, advice on any particular matter. No person should act on the basis of any material contained in the NEWSLETTER without considering, and if necessary, taking appropriate professional advice upon their circumstances. The RAAFVVA Committee, the authors and publisher expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any such person in reliance, whether whole or partial, upon the whole or part of the contents of the “RAAFVVA NEWSLETTER”. Any member of the RAAFVVA, or other veteran organisation or any interested party may submit articles, letters, and advertisements for publication in the NEWSLETTER. The Committee and Publisher reserve the right to veto any such article, letter or advertisement. EDITOR: RAAFVVA Committee

PUBLISHER: Geoff Rose

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THE “PRESIDENT’S PIECE” A quarter of the year gone by already!!! The AGM was held in February. The usual group attended and with one exception the elected Committee remained the same: Neil Morgan is the new member. I advised the meeting that 2009 would be my last as President; I believe it appropriate that the Office be held for not more than two years. Anzac Day is almost upon us (details elsewhere in this Newsletter). As in recent years I have opted for other than the President and Secretary to lead our Contingent. This year the march was to be lead by Geoff Way (with his daughter and granddaughter assisting him) and Joe (Chick) Mercieca. Sadly Geoff’s health deteriorated faster than we had hoped and he passed away in hospital on 26th March. Nevertheless, Chick and Geoff’s family members will still lead the march. This year will be the first opportunity for us to hold a short post-march commemoration service at our Plaque in the Shrine Gardens. Please make an effort to attend – friends and family are most welcome. Still nothing firm from RAAFA on new membership costs but I am hopeful that a major reduction will occur during 2009. If RAAFA membership doesn’t increase soon it will be facing a bleak future. On the subject of future, the State President of the VVAA recently held a President’s forum that work-shopped the future of the VVAA. The likely successors of the VVAA are either the RSL or the Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association; the final nominee will accrue all the fiscal and other assets of the VVAA. Given this, I believe it is appropriate that we start considering what we intend to do as time passes and the ability of members to keep the Association functioning effectively decreases. I’ll be seeking your views later next quarter. Many would be aware that Cliff Dohle, the surviving Captain of the two 9 Squadron Hueys involved in the Battle of Long Tan has passed on. Regrettably such news is becoming all too frequent now! The recent Bush Fire calamity here in Victoria involved a number of VVAA members and other veterans. Rick Holmes did sterling work contacting all of our members in the affected areas to ascertain their “state of play” and whether assistance was required. His efforts reflected most favourably on our Association and he deserves a well-earned “Well Done”. Finally, we need more members and guests to attend our monthly luncheons. To all those now fully retired, try and set aside the third Wednesday of each month and join us at the Palmerston. Cheers, Nick 3


ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION 23rd Annual General Meeting Held at the RAAF Association Headquarters On Sunday 8th February 2009 Full AGM Minutes, Reports and Attachments can be found on the RAAFVVA website. Below is an abbreviated account of the Meeting

Members, almost bursting with excitement, as they await the commencement of proceedings 1. Opening The President opened the meeting at 1400 hours. 2. Ode The President recited the Ode. 3. Presidents Welcome The Association President, Nick LeRay-Meyer, formally welcomed members and observers with special reference to the attendance of Geoff Way who is not in the best of health and David Weeks, the State Treasurer who acted as the official Vietnam Veterans Association (Vic Branch) observer. 4. Attendance Register The attendance register was signed by all 30 persons in attendance. 5. Apologies Alan Reed Gary Jarvis Tony Pahl Ron McMullen Alan Greig Barry Noonan Owen Preece

Ken Ewin Mike Lewino Ron Glew Mac Weller Geoff Forsyth Rex Bean David Grover 4

Andy Lapins Chick Mercieca Kev Sharpley Denis Nicol George Bielby Stan Wicks


6. Acceptance of previous Minutes Minutes of the previous AGM were accepted. 7. Business arising from previous Minutes Nil. 8. Financial Report for the year ending December 2008 Treasurer Maree Jongkryg presented the Financial Report for the year ending 31st December 2008. The Financial Report was accepted. 9. Correspondence The Secretary presented the correspondence report with particular emphasis that no email traffic is included. Reference was made to the Thank you Letter for two members of the public Eric Williams and Ray Zarb, who, on the 18th August donated a tidy sum to the RAAFVVA. 10. General Business (a) Membership Report for 2008. The Membership Officer presented his report. The year finished with 1 second member, 16 associate members and 104 ordinary members. As of the 8th February 2009, 1 second member, 5 associate and 47 ordinary members are still unfinancial. The President observed that on the subject of declining membership the committee is learning too often and frequently too late of ex RAAF people who need assistance and cited the case prior to Christmas of one of our members who had passed away. His widow had a copy of our Newsletter and contacted the President. Welfare Officer Lee Scully was able to sit down with his family and ensured that all appropriate entitlements were secured for them. (b) Badge Week Report for 2008. The Secretary presented the Badge Week Report for 2008. Three locations were staffed (Highpoint, Southlands and Sunbury). Takings were up at Highpoint and Sunbury whilst Southland remained static. Due to a misunderstanding of the term “on consignment” the RAAFVVA received a much larger account for Museum stock in 2008 than anticipated. President discussed situation with the Museum President and a satisfactory outcome for both parties was achieved. (c) Recognition of Donations. The President gave, on behalf of the committee sincere thanks to those who made donations to the RAAFVVA during 2008. These donations provided the necessary extra funding required in addition to our normal fundraising activities. (Names of all who donated are listed at the end of this article.) 11. President’s Report All attendees received a copy of the President‟s report and were given 5 minutes to read it through. President made particular mention of Plaque Dedication ceremony on the 18th of August 2008. A memento of the occasion was presented to Snow Coughlan CGM. President also made mention of Ron Betts, a pilot with No 9 Squadron KIA and the unveiling of the Tasmanian memorial to the 16 Tasmanians who lost their lives during service in Vietnam. The President then called for questions from the floor: one query re ANZAC Day. It would appear that the RAAF contingent will now commence the march starting in Flinders Street on the NE side of Swanston Street. This will be confirmed in due course. 12. Election of Office Bearers One nomination for committee was received from Neil Morgan, elected unopposed. All other committee members agreed to serve another year and were also elected unopposed.

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The Committee (and Executive) for 2009

Standing L-R: Gareth Davis (Assist Sec/Membership), Pieter Jongkryg, Geoff Rose, Neil Morgan Alan White, Bob Brackin Seated: Maree Jongkryg (Treasurer), Rick Holmes (Secretary), Nick LeRay-Meyer AM (President) Lee Scully (Vice President) Past President, Graeme Dodd OAM, graciously accepted the position of Special Projects Officer The President advised assembled members that 2009 would be his last year as President. In his opinion it is essential that we have new members on committee to generate fresh ideas and fresh enthusiasm. 13. Honours and Awards A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to Alan White for his many years of commitment to the RAAFVVA and for his untiring work in the Menâ€&#x;s Health programme. Alan then presented a short talk on the subject of menâ€&#x;s health and requested that all attending members spread the word amongst other members and friends who may not be aware of the programme.

Nick presented Alan White with a Certificate of Appreciation for his commitment to RAAFVVA

Snow Coughlan CGM receiving his memento of the RAAF Vietnam Plaque Dedication 6


Some good-lookers helped to brighten the day!

L-R: Telmay Dodd, Brenda Douglas , Noela Rose, Jill Coughlan, Maree Jongkryg, Pat Lynch, Golda Holmes, Ellen Scully, Joy Dunne, and Kay Davis 14. Closure Prior to closing the meeting, the President stressed the need for new welfare officers and requested that all members who may have some time on their hands consider assisting our current welfare officers. At this point mention was made of all our current welfare officers, both local and country, who have done much to improve the welfare of our members. President, on behalf of the committee, thanked them all for their untiring efforts. It was then moved, seconded and accepted, that an amount not to exceed $150.00 be spent on refreshments. There being no further business, the President declared the meeting closed at 1450 hours.

DONATIONS RECEIVED 01/01/08 TO 31/12/08 A Pahl, A Higginbottom, A White, B Rowe, B Ridgewell, B Farrell, B Lynch, D De Fabbro, D Nicol, D Weeks, D Taffe, D Weir, D Stewart, D Grover, E Weller, Eric Williams (Butt Out), G Dunstan, G Forsyth, G Edwards, G Carter, G Rose, G Davis, G Sharp, G Garbutt, H Kirby, I Favilla, I Knight, I Cairns, I Wescombe, J Burton, J Copeland, J Sharley, J Smith, J Lovegrove, J & E Scully, J McDonnell, K Oâ€&#x;Neil, K Haines, K Carter, K Palmer, K Reilly, K Sharpley, L Fankauser, L Pascoe, L Baker, M Dunne, M Vink, M Lane, N Rose, National Vietnam Veterans Museum, N Morgan, N Brown, O Preece, P Raymant, P Richardson, P Andrews, P Greenaway, P Greenwood, P Hirvonen, P Ashley, RAAF Association, Ray Zarb (Highway Tyres), R Brackin, R Mathieson, R McMullen, R Dawson, S Coughlan. Again, to all who so generously donated – Thank You! The amount is not important; what matters, is that the money will be use to assist your mates. Your donation is very much appreciated. 7


NOTICE BOARD ANZAC DAY 2009 RAAFVVA will form up on the eastern side of Flinders Street, towards Russell Street. Look for our Banner at the rear of RAAF SW Pacific. Be there around 1100, for a step-off time of 1120. Please refer to „SECRETARY‟S SNIPPETS‟ for full details, including after-march Commemorative Service at the RAAF Vietnam Plaque, and lunchtime get-together at Citro Restaurant.

VETERANS' AND WAR WIDOWS' PENSIONS INCREASED Indexation will deliver Veteran and War Widow Pensioners up to an extra $14.10 a fortnight, Minister for Veterans' Affairs Alan Griffin announced on 10 March 2009. Some 365,000 veterans, their partners and war widows will benefit. Minister Griffin said pensions will increase from 20 March, paid from pension day 26 March. "For the first time, the Special Rate (TPI) Pension is more than $1,000 a fortnight at $1,011.90," Mr Griffin said. The increases are based on a movement of 0.9 per cent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and a top-up of $2.60 per fortnight to bring the single Service Pension rate to 25 per cent of Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). All disability pensions are indexed by reference to both CPI and MTAWE. This resulted in a 1.4 per cent increase. Pension, Old fortnightly rate to New fortnightly rate: For more information on the new pension rates visit www.dva.gov.au or call 133 254.

OUT AND ABOUT The first of our Monthly Lunches for 2009 was held at the Palmerston Hotel on Wednesday, 18th February. Ten members attended and it was a pleasure to welcome „first-timers‟ Graeme Dodd, Ron McMullen, his wife Alethea, and Martin Vink. Another gathering occurred on Wednesday 18th March. Only 7 members were able to make it this time, but it was good to see Brendan and Pat Lynch. Brendan had an earlier engagement in the City, and decided that was a great opportunity to stop off at the Palmerston for lunch. Pat was a little disappointed to be the only lady in attendance, but enjoyed the meal and is looking forward to catching up with some of the other female members/wives/partners next time. It seems, the usual „band‟ keeps coming along, but it is certainly is good to build the numbers up with a few „new-faces‟ each month. The more, the merrier!

WHAT ABOUT A TOUR OF VIETNAM? Ever thought about going back? Phil Brooks, an ex Army Vietnam Vet, will lead a fully escorted, all inclusive tour from 13 – 27 August 2009. The tour is excellent value and provides an insight into the Australian involvement in Vietnam, including a visit to Long Tan on 18 August, (V. V. Day). For detailed itinerary and further information please contact Ms Ju Yang, Imperial China Tours. Ph: 1300 303 101, (02) 9299 0899, or email: juyang@imperialchinatours.com 8


DID YOU KNOW? Minister for Veterans' Affairs - Voluntary work and the VEA, SRCA and MRCA A number of people have expressed concerns about how the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) treats voluntary work with community and welfare organisations under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and the Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). There appears to be a belief that voluntary work is treated differently under SRCA and MRCA than it is under the VEA. Some people are concerned that undertaking voluntary work will trigger a review of incapacity payments. This is not the case. To clarify the issue and reassure veterans wanting to do voluntary work, the Repatriation Commissioner, Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retd), has written to a number of ex-service organisations and the Training and Information Program Committee Chairs to state: * DVA is supportive of veterans undertaking voluntary work; * Voluntary work is treated the same under all three Acts; and * Undertaking voluntary work will not trigger a review of pension or incapacity payments. A copy of Brigadier Rolfe's letter and policy statement is attached in the weblinks below. I would urge any veteran or veterans' representative to refer to this statement should they have any issues with the way such matters are being interpreted. Alan Griffin Minister for Veterans' Affairs

INFORMATION FROM DVA: Changes to Eligibility for Partner Service Pension Legislation regarding the changes to eligibility for the partner service pension (PSP) has now been passed by Parliament. What Does This Mean? The changes will not be implemented until 1 July 2009, NOT 1 January 2009 as previously advised. From 1 July 2009, eligibility for PSP for a separated spouse will be paid for a maximum of 12 months from the date of separation unless you have been assessed as a member of an illness separated couple or special domestic circumstances apply. In those cases, PSP will continue. Separated partners will have a full 12 month period from the date of their separation from the veteran to make alternative financial arrangements, unless they divorce or enter into a de facto relationship. Those who are Age Pension age at the end of the 12 month period will remain eligible for the partner service pension. As is the current situation, couples who are considered to be illness separated will continue to receive partner service pension. Partners in special domestic circumstances also retain the partner service pension.

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Special domestic circumstances are where the couple have separated and the veteran has a psychological or mental health condition recognised by the Department and there was an unsafe domestic environment for the partner and/or children prior to separation. In order to establish whether special domestic circumstances apply, the partner (only) will be asked to complete a questionnaire. Where there is supporting information, this should be included and may include documents such as police reports or advice from medical practitioners. Please note that if the partner and veteran divorce or the partner enters into a de facto relationship with another person, the partner will lose eligibility and their payment will be cancelled. If the partner is the de facto partner of the veteran and they separate, they will lose eligibility for the partner service pension immediately. This is the current situation and has not been affected by this legislative change. The Department of Veterans‟ Affairs wrote to all affected partners on 4 December 2008, advising of the new changes to partner service pension.

RESTORATION OF DFRDB WIDOWS [SPOUSE] PENSIONS CANCELLED ON REMARRIAGE PRE 1977 FOR AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL From the inception of the contributory DFRB/DFRDB Superannuation Schemes until mid 1977 widows or widowers of Australian Defence Force Personnel who were killed in Australia or overseas were granted a pension from the contributory Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefit Fund. Until 1977 the Commonwealth Government Legislation required that if a spouse remarried the pension be cancelled. In 1977 a Federal Government policy change meant that widows/widowers pensions were no longer cancelled on remarriage. However, those spouses who had lost their partners before this date did not have their pensions reinstated, unless there was a compelling case of financial hardship. Following strong representation to and subsequent support from senior Government Ministers of the last Coalition Government [The Hon Mal Brough, The Hon Nic Minchin and The Hon Bruce Billson], the Pre 1977 DFRDB Spouse Pensions have been reinstated prospectively, on application, with effect 1 January 2008. The term used by the present Government through Comsuper is „Reversionary Pensions‟. Regrettably, it is a term that not many understand. The reinstatement of the DFRDB Widows [Spouse] pensions needs wide dissemination to all Military Associations of the three Services and the wider community. This initiative covers the widows of all Australian Defence Force personnel who contributed to the DFRB/DFRDB Scheme and who died as a result of natural causes, accidents, disease or in other circumstances in peace in Australia or overseas as well as all those who lost their lives on Active Service. It is stressed that the reinstatement of DFRB/DFRDB pensions will only be made prospectively from the date of application. Contact: Comsuper DFRDB Scheme PO Box 22 Belconnen 2616

Released by: Mrs Sara Ferguson and Major General David Ferguson AM, CSC [R] Tele: (07) 5497 5519, 1300 001 887 Email: dfer6755@bigpond.net.au 10


HONOURING THE CARIBOU'S SERVICE TO AUSTRALIA

The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, announced on 9th March that the DHC-4 Caribou's extraordinary 45 years of operational service in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be honoured with one aircraft being gifted to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook and one to the Australian War Memorial. "A chapter of RAAF's proud history belongs to the Caribous. They have performed outstandingly on active service in Vietnam, undertaking humanitarian relief in Kashmir and Papua New Guinea and through support to peacekeeping operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands," Mr Fitzgibbon said. Air Force's fleet of 13 Caribous will be retired from service by the end of 2009. Since the Royal Australian Air Force took delivery of its first of 29 Caribous in 1964, they have conducted light tactical transport duties throughout the South West Pacific and South East Asia. During 2009, the Caribous will be gradually retired as they become due for expensive major maintenance. "The Government has decided that on retirement from RAAF service, two of the Caribous with distinguished operational records will be allocated to Australia's foremost military heritage collections," Mr Fitzgibbon said. "This will be a fitting way to respect and remember the Caribous and the men and women who have worked so hard to fly and support the aircraft. In recent years the task of maintaining Caribou serviceability has been increasingly difficult as the airframes aged." Mr Fitzgibbon visited Point Cook to announce that Caribou A4-152 will be provided to the RAAF Museum in early 2010. Caribou 152 was delivered to Air Force in May 1964 and served in Vietnam, Kashmir, Papua New Guinea and East Timor. It is scheduled to be one of the last Caribous to retire and will become a static display at the RAAF Museum. "The Point Cook RAAF Museum, within the electorate of Lalor, is one of Australia's premier aircraft and aeronautical collections," Ms Gillard said. 11


"The Museum houses the largest collection of military aircraft and artefacts in Australia. "This is an extremely historic aviation site. The site where, in 1903, the first manned flight in Australia took place and where the RAAF first established a base in 1913. This airfield is also believed to be the oldest continuing airfield in the world. "It is, therefore, a very fitting last resting place for Caribou A4-152." Caribou A4-140 with a similar outstanding service history is earmarked for the Australian War Memorial. The Defence Materiel Organisation will manage the Caribou disposal plan which will determine the future of the other 11 aircraft. As an interim measure, tasks currently performed by Caribous will be covered by B300 King Airs and C-130 Hercules, ahead of a decision on a tactical airlift capability for RAAF through Project Air 8000 Phase 2.

WEBSITE ‘MEMORIAL’ FOR HMAS SYDNEY II The Finding Sydney Foundation (FSF) and the Naval Association of Australia (NAA) have launched a Virtual Memorial on the internet to commemorate the 645 men lost with HMAS Sydney II on 19 November 1941. A new website provides a unique experience accessible globally for those wanting to learn more about the human loss of HMAS Sydney II and honour the memory of the individual sailors through shared stories and images. The FSF is very grateful to the NAA for accepting the task of carrying the „Sydney‟ banner into the future. The website located at http://www.sydneymemorial.com features an Honour Roll with individual pages of information for each of the 645 sailors lost. Families are invited to submit stories, images and other related content to feature on each sailor‟s pages. The website also houses HMAS Sydney II historical information and an extensive set of archival photographs courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy and the Australian War Memorial. Video footage can also be viewed. It includes previous commemorations; the search for the wreck; scenes of the ship and crew in Egypt (Jul 1940) after the successful engagement with the Italian cruiser „Bartolomeo Colleoni‟; the triumphant ceremonial welcome home march in Sydney (Feb 1941) and scenes aboard the ship, taken during the months before her loss. 12


HEALTH and WELFARE GOLD CARD WW2 veterans aged 70 and over with qualifying service are entitled to a Gold Card - 'Repatriation Health Card For All Conditions.' All other Australian Defence Force veterans with qualifying service over the age of 70 are eligible for the Gold Card from 1 July 2002. The Gold Card gives the holder access to the full range of Repatriation health care benefits. The holder is eligible for treatment for all health conditions irrespective of whether they are war-caused or not. The Gold Card may also be issued to War Widows/Widowers and eligible dependants of a deceased veteran, whose death has been accepted as war-caused. Find out more about the Gold Card including eligibility from the DVA Facts HSV60. Phone 133 254, or for non-metropolitan callers 1800 555 254

HOW TO BEAT FATIGUE Everyone feels tired some time, but chronic tiredness leaves you exhausted; it does not prevent you from working, but it robs you of real enjoyment. If you wake up feeling bone- weary and keep saying "I'm tired out", try the following suggestions for boosting your vitality: 1. Quality of sleep is more important that quantity. Avoid late-night stimulants such as tea, coffee and alcohol. Experiment with different soothing herbal teas, or drink some hot milk and honey at bedtime. Make sure that you don‟t over-stimulate your mind by watching TV right up to bedtime – especially avoid watching TV in bed. 2. A lack of balanced exercise and insufficient fresh air causes fatigue. Take a brisk walk, then increase the distance every day. Take up a sport, such as cycling, golf, tennis or swimming. Yoga and Pilates can be useful also. 3. If you are feeling run-down, firstly see your doctor to exclude any underlying cause such as a treatable illness like anaemia, an under-active thyroid, heart problems or even ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis). Some doctors think that a constantly tired patient is suffering from depression and may prescribe antidepressant drugs, which can affect the body's uptake of vital nutrients. If you are required to take medication, factor that into your daily diet and consult a healthcare practitioner about possible supplements to help your body obtain its necessary nutrients. 4. Tired people are often extremely tense because their muscles tighten throughout the day as they fight their body‟s tiredness. 5. A massage is a marvellous treat for tense muscles, if you have a willing partner or friend. Failing that, find a good massage therapist, who will help to relieve that stress and tension. Magnesium as a supplement will relax tense muscles and relieve general anxiety. 6. Master a simple relaxation exercise such as tightening and relaxing every muscle in turn. Learn yoga or study meditation. 7. Reduce noise in your life as much as possible. Keep stereos, radio and TV to a low level at home. If noise at work frays your nerves, try to find a solution or even a quieter job. Wearing head phones all the time does not allow your mind to relax.

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8. You will be happier and more energetic if you keep up-to-date with work. Putting off until later those tasks that you can do today can make you feel guilty. Carrying around a load of guilt can leave you feeling frustrated and tired. 9. Take frequent short breaks during your working day; these are more refreshing than one long break. 10. Avoid over-exposure to hot sun, which drains your energy. Excessive heat makes you sweat and perspiration drains minerals from your body. 11. Start slimming if you are overweight, as carrying extra weight makes you tired. Eat more fruit, vegetables, salads, wholegrain and other high-fibre foods, which help keep you satisfied between meals. Reducing your fat intake; eating lean meat or other protein food sources will help you to lose weight healthily. 12. You need iron to help your body carry energy-giving oxygen around your system, but caffeine in tea, coffee, chocolate and cola interferes with your uptake of iron. Try switching to herbal teas, Caro or natural fruit juices. You will find iron in seafood, beef and kangaroo. If you are suffering from anaemia, iron supplements and an improved diet will help restore your lost energy. 13. Make sure you obtain enough magnesium (found in green vegetables, fruits, nuts and cereals) and potassium (in green vegetables, bananas and potatoes) from your diet. Again, magnesium supplements or bio-minerals can be helpful. 14. Reduce stress by looking for likeable qualities in people whom you dislike. Liking is more restful. Smile often and avoid grumbling and you will feel happier and less tired. Worry, hate, jealousy, fear and suspicion are destructive emotions that destroy energy by over-stimulating the mind with negative thoughts. Avoid negative people, they can be draining! 15. Keep in touch with friends and relatives. There is nothing better than a heart-to-heart chat with someone you like. Being unhappy with yourself, or being lonely too much, can rob you of energy. Join a club to socialise or play sport. 16. Get rid of guilt feelings by listing your activities, then write down the things you have longed to do but never attempted. Do you really want to learn Latin American dancing, Greek cookery, painting or wood carving? If so, why not join a class now? 17. Taking a good multivitamin and mineral supplement may be helpful, especially if your diet is lacking. 18. Are you drinking enough water? If you feel hungry all the time, you actually might be thirsty. Water keeps your brain hydrated and there is less mental fatigue. 19. Are you doing too much, working long hours, going to the gym, not getting to bed early enough, feeling like youâ€&#x;re running on your adrenals? All this will lead to fatigue and burnout, which can prove costly in the long run to your mental, physical and emotional well being. Adapted from the New Idea (Issue Date 21 February 1995) .

Remember, enjoy life – this is not a dress rehearsal!

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE “Physicians think they are doing something for you by labelling that you have a disease.” – Immanuel Kant How many worldwide, do you imagine, suffer from this condition? Many complain you‟ve been told you have to remain on blood pressure medication for life. Of course you do. You don‟t think the children of drug company executives go through private school overnight, do you? High blood pressure can be the result of low blood volume, plaque in the arteries, stress reactions, and so on. Plaque deposits can be cleared with a healthy raw diet, high dose Vit C every few hours, and some progressive exercise (Day, Phillip, Health Wars). With regard to blood volume, Water expert F Batmanghelidj sheds a welcoming light on „essential hypertension‟, a term used by a doctor when he has no clue why you have high blood pressure: „High blood pressure (essential hypertension) is the result of an adaptive process to a gross body water deficiency. The vessels of the body have been designed to cope with fluctuation of their blood volume and tissue requirements by opening and closing different vessels. When the body's total fluid volume is decreased, the main vessels also have to decrease their aperture (close their lumina), otherwise there would not be enough fluid to fill all the space allocated to blood volume in the design of that particular body. Failing a capacity adjustment to the 'water volume' by the blood vessels, gases would separate from the blood and fill the space, causing 'gas locks'. This property of lumen regulation for fluid circulation is a most advanced design within the principle of hydraulics and after which the blood circulation of the body is modelled.‟ Well, that makes sense. You‟re dehydrated, so you have less blood volume. The arteries have to compensate for the net loss in volume by constricting to pick up the slack. With less water, your blood thickens as the red cells stack up like pennies (Rouleau). Higher viscosity requires more pressure to get the blood around the system and water into the cells. Arteries constrict further and the heart works harder. Grab your garden hose and bend it slightly to restrict flow and pressure will increase. Dr B goes on to state: „Essential hypertension should primarily be treated with an increase in daily water intake. The present way of treating hypertension is wrong to the point of scientific absurdity. The body is trying to retain its water volume, and we say to the design of nature in us: 'No, you do not understand you must take diuretics and get rid of water!' It so happens that, if we do not drink sufficient water, the only other way the body has to secure water is through the mechanism of keeping sodium in the body…. Water by itself is the best natural diuretic. If people who have hypertension, and produce adequate urine, increase their daily water intake, they will not need to take diuretics. If prolonged 'hypertension producing dehydration' has also caused heart failure complications, water intake should be increased gradually. In this way, one makes sure that fluid collection in the body is not excessive or unmanageable. The mechanism of sodium retention in these people is in overdrive mode. When water intake is increased gradually and more urine is being produced, the oedema fluid (swelling) that is full of toxic substances will be flushed out, and the heart will regain its strength.‟

Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health – Bigger, Better and Moving to a New Home Following several years of growth in staff numbers and research projects, the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) in Melbourne is preparing to move to new and larger premises. 15


While the move takes the ACPMH from the Austin Repatriation Hospital in Heidelberg, the Centre‟s home since its inception, the ACPMH will continue to work closely with the Departments of Veterans‟ Affairs and Defence in all aspects of veterans‟ mental health – from recruitment through to transitioning from combat to life as a civilian and a veteran, according to the Centre‟s Director, Professor Mark Creamer. “ACPMH remains deeply committed to improving mental health outcomes for veterans and their families. The new premises, located closer to the city centre and the University of Melbourne, will consolidate the position of ACPMH as the leading centre in Australia for policy advice, research and training in the field of posttraumatic mental health,” he said. “There has never been a time when so much attention has been focused on mental health effects of trauma, both in civilians and in the defence forces. The move will allow us to grow and to increase our work on the prevention, recognition and treatment of these disabling problems and diagnosis of PTSD. We expect this growth will provide benefits to all our stakeholders, including the veteran community, to whom we owe so much.” New details: Level 1, 340 Albert Street, East Melbourne, VIC 3002 Tel: (03) 9936 5100; Fax: (03) 9936 5199; Email and website unchanged

SECRETARY'S SNIPPETS Hi all, ANZAC Day 2009: We are now forming up in Flinders Street near Russell Street, let me say 11ish with tongue in cheek. Most importantly look for the Banner. After march, Wreath laying and reflection at our Plaque adjacent to the Garden of Reflection and then lunch at Citro 348 St Kilda Road. Try and make it in light of next article. Geoff Way ex WOE No 35 Sqn (as I write this was today admitted to palliative care in Frankston with terminal cancer). Committee had hoped that Geoff would lead this year‟s march but sadly not to be. His daughter Amanda and Granddaughter Emma may be part of our proceedings. RTF/35 SQN Air Medal Mike Lewino has done a magnificent job in tracking down all but 3 members of RTF/35 SQN who may be eligible for the issue of the USAF Air Medal. If you haven‟t registered or you know of any aircrew who may be eligible give Mike an email at mlewino@iprimus.com.au. See you on ANZAC Day. Regards, Rick

ANZAC DAY 2009 - THREE DAYS OF FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT!

The Victorian Government is proud to honour Victorian veterans, ex-service personnel and war widows by providing free public transport for them on ANZAC Day 2009 as well as April 24 and April 26. To qualify, just do ONE of the following: wear service medals or war widow‟s badge, present DVA Gold Card or Category „V‟ Concession Card, or wear your uniform (if it still fits). 16


THE PADRE’S PAGE “LOVE IN ACTION” We have all been affected by the experiences of so many in the recent bush fire tragedy. We have seen love in action on every front or society. I was reminded of a young RAAF lad who was killed on his motor bike in an accident in Darwin. I was asked to take his mate to the Darwin Hospital to identify the body. As we came of the hospital to my car this 22 year old sobbed uncontrollably. I put my around his shoulder as he wept. He said, “Padre, he was my friend.” There was a great bond between these two RAAF mates. It was love in action. Mother Theresa in her book “Who is for Life?” has this to say, “Let us pray for each other so that we grow in tender love, that we allow God to love us and that we allow God to love others through us. Where does that showing of love begin? At home, so let us bring that love to the sick, to the old, to the lonely, to the unwanted. For the people do not hunger only for bread; they hunger for love, they hunger to be somebody, to somebody. I will never forget that I once met a man in the street who looked very lonely and miserable. So I walked right up to him, and I shook his hand. My hands are always very warm; and he looked up, gave me a beautiful smile, and he said, “Oh it has been such a long time since I felt the warmth of a human hand!” How very wonderful and very beautiful that our simple actions can show love in that way. And let us remember to bring that kind of love into our family. We can do this through prayer; for where there is prayer, there is love. And where there is love, there is the complete oneness that Jesus was about when He said, “Be one, as the Father and I are one. And love one another as I have loved you. As the Father loved me, I loved you.” So often it is the little acts of kindness, such as ringing a friend to make sure they are OK, or offering a lift to a doctor’s appointment, that we express our love for our mates. As ever, George G. The Rev George G Ashworth OAM Introducing a new section to our Newsletter and Website To highlight and remember the lives of past friends and colleagues, RAAFVVA President and Committee have decided to introduce a new ‘VALE’ section for our Newsletter and on the website. When we are notified of the passing of a RAAFVVA member, we wish to include a photograph of that person and a brief outline of their life. We will also include mention of the passing of RAAF Vietnam Veterans, irrespective of whether they were members of our Association. Intention is not only to salute and farewell a life, but to over time, build an historical record of ex RAAF members who served in the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, the „Vale‟ Section of the Newsletter will need to be brief, but our RAAFVVA website can include much more detail. Please inform us, provide information, and (if possible) a photograph, and we will include the appropriate details. Please, we will rely on you to forward the appropriate information. 17


VALE RAAFVVA MEMBERS LEST WE FORGET

Geoffrey Lawrence Carter 35 Squadron – 25 Feb 69 to 26 Feb 70 9th December 2008

1930 - 2008 Geoff was born on 22 May 1930, at Concord West, NSW, to Oscar and Muriel Rose Carter. Geoff’s interest in the RAAF saw him enlist in 1948, at the age of 18. After recruit training he was initially posted to Brisbane, and then to Ballarat for further trade training. In September 1952, Geoff was posted to Broome WA, to participate in the Monte Bello Islands and Emu nuclear tests; these were the first of a number of deployments during the British Atomic Testing Program in Australia. There was a short posting to Amberley and then 16 ALA Squadron. In 1962, Geoff was sent to 6 RAD School, Laverton, as an instructor, and remained there for six years. Next stop was South Vietnam, where Geoff served as a Sgt RADTECH (Air) with 35 Squadron, from February 1969 to February 1970. On return from Vietnam, and after 22 years of loyal and dedicated service, Geoff decided to leave the RAAF and further his studies. Graduating with Distinction, Geoff accepted a position with Box Hill TAFE, where he taught in the Electronics Department, until retirement in 1994. Geoff Carter passed away suddenly on 9th December 2008. He will be remembered always by his wife, Patricia, six children and seven grand-children. 18


Peter Westley HEWETT 9 Sqn – Aug 67 to Aug 68 7th March 2009

Geoffrey Frederick Way 35 Sqn – Feb 69 to Nov 69 26th March 2009 RAAF VIETNAM VETERANS

Clifford Mitchell DOHLE MID 9 Sqn – Jun 66 to Oct 66 2nd February 2009

Robin BINGLEY 2 Sqn – Jan 70 to Jan 71 13th January 2009

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM!

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE The best way to solve the economic crisis?

Things might not be going too well for some of us, and the global economic downturn is not helping, but at least some people are able to look on the funny side of it..........

“If the global economic crisis continues at the present rate, by the end of this year only two banks will be left ..........the Blood Bank and the Sperm Bank! And before you know it, these two will merge, and the whole place will be full of bloody wankers!”

The Pastor’s Ass The Pastor entered his donkey in a race - and it won! The Pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in another race - and it won again! The local paper read: “PASTOR'S ASS IS IN THE FRONT”. The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the Pastor not to enter the donkey in another race. The next day, the local paper headline read: “BISHOP SCRATCHES PASTOR'S ASS”. This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the Pastor to get rid of the donkey. The Pastor decided to give it to a Nun in a nearby convent. The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day: “NUN HAS BEST ASS IN TOWN”. The Bishop fainted. He informed the Nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10. The next day the paper read: “NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10”. This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the Nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read: “NUN ANNOUNCES HER ASS IS WILD AND FREE”. The Bishop was buried the next day. Moral of the story is: being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery...and even shorten your life!!! So be yourself and enjoy life... Try to stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer! 20


A Most Expensive Monkey! A tourist walked into a pet shop and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, an officer from the local RAAF base came in and said to the shopkeeper, 'I'll take one of those monkeys, please'. The shopkeeper nodded, went to a cage at the side of the store and took out a monkey. He put a collar and lead on the animal and handed it to the officer saying, 'That'll be $2000, please.' The officer paid and left with the monkey. The surprised tourist went up to the shopkeeper and said, 'That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them are only a few hundred dollars. Why did that one cost so much?' The shopkeeper answered, 'Ah, that's a special 'Technician' monkey; he can rig aircraft flight controls, pass the RAAF fitness test, set up a perimeter defence and perform the duties of any Warrant Officer with no back talk or complaints. It's well worth the money.' The tourist then spotted another monkey in another cage. $10,000!! What does it do?' he asked.

'That's even more expensive!

'Oh, that one', replied the shopkeeper. 'That's an 'Engineer Officer' monkey. He can instruct at all levels of maintenance, supervise maintenance at Unit, Intermediate and Depot level and even does all the paperwork - a very useful monkey indeed.' The tourist looked around a little longer and found a third monkey in a cage. This time the price tag was $50,000. The shocked tourist exclaimed, 'This one costs more than the other two combined! What in the world can it do?' 'Actually,' said the shopkeeper,' I've never really seen him do anything but drink beer, play with himself and wind-up the other monkeys, but his papers say he's a Fighter Pilot!' THE BOTTLE OF WINE (this joke is set in the USA, but you can substitute as you wish) For all of us who are married, were married, wish they were married, or wish they weren't married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine: Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road. As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride. With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car. Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally. 'What in bag?' asked the old woman. Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, 'It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.' The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said: 'Good trade.....' 21


THE VIETNAM VETERANS ASSOCIATION VICTORIAN BRANCH (Incorporated) IS A REGISTERED CHARITY. DONATIONS The VVAA Victorian Branch is a registered charity which means that all of the 30 sub-branches can raise funds from public donations and provide Tax deductable receipts for all donations over $2, providing the funds are used for welfare. Some VVAA members have already adopted our Association as their family charity. All that is needed is to make out a cheque payable to the Sub-branch Welfare Fund and forward it to the Treasurer who will provide the Tax deductable receipt by return mail. Even the smallest donation is very much appreciated. BEQUESTS AND LEGACIES Making a Will is good planning. It provides you and those for whom you care with peace of mind, ensures the security of you family, and enables bequests to be made to those charities that represent your ongoing interests and concerns. Bequests and Legacies are gifts of specifically identified possessions or specified sums of money gifted to a person, a group of people or an organization. If the VVAA is your charity then the correct title of the charity is Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Victorian Branch Welfare Patriotic Fund Please consider our Association as a charity. Remember, one day the person in need of assistance may be you or a member of your family. VVCS - VETERANS and VETERANS FAMILIES COUNSELLING SERVICE (A Service Founded by the Vietnam Veterans) Normal Hours: 86408700 Crisis Line (after hours) 1800 011 046 DVA VICTORIA Normal Hours: 9284 6000 Country/Regional: 1800 555 254 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------In Hospital or Convalescing at Home? Like us to know about it and/or have someone to visit to assist or just chat? Name:…………………………………………………………………………………..….......... Address:……………………………………………………………………………………........ Preferred Contact details:……..………………………………………………………….......... Post or Email your request to the Secretary or give him a call on 9317 7304 and we will try and arrange a visit on your behalf.

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March 2009