Bravery Trust Chairman Garth Callender has welcomed plans for a standalone commemorative day to recognise those who served in the Middle East during the past 20 years.

Mr Callender was one of the first casualties medically evacuated out of Iraq when his armoured vehicle was the target of a roadside bomb, and he later served in Afghanistan.

He is now supporting veterans in need, as Chairman of Bravery Trust, which provides financial aid and financial counselling to veterans who have an injury or illness due to their service and are experiencing financial hardship.

Mr Callender said a commemorative day would provide Australians with an opportunity to honour the sacrifice of those who served in the Middle East, as well as their families.

“A day of commemoration proposed would create an opportunity for Australians to honour those who contributed to providing stability in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan, saving innocent lives, working to provide freedom for those living in danger, and showing Australia’s commitment to fight terrorism on the world stage. This day would also provide an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives or been physically, mentally or morally injured while serving our country,” he said.   “Often it’s the ones without physical scars who require additional support.”

Bravery Trust is a nation-wide Military Charity, providing financial support those veterans facing financial crisis.

“Our Australian veterans are some of the proudest people in Australia and most successfully transition into civilian life following their time in the Defence Force,” Mr Callender said.  “But, sometimes they need our help, especially when they find themselves in a stressed financial position, made worse by injury, illness or mental ill-health.

“We help a very specific group, those who are most in-distress, with financial assistance, financial counselling and connecting them with other services that they may need.  70% of those reaching out for assistance are under 50 years old and 85% are experiencing mental health concerns.

“Bravery Trust changes lives by ensuring that injured veterans and their families do not suffer as a consequence of their service and are provided with immediate support and assistance in their time of need.”

Bravery Trust is a not-for-profit charity organisation endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR). All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Injured or ill veterans and families in financial hardship can call 1800BRAVERY (1800 272 837).

Bravery Trust is a registered business name of the Australian Defence Force Assistance Trust, a nationally registered charity.