ANZAC Day 2014
"With tons of love" is written on the back of the photo my Nana - Jean, pictured centre right - gave to my Papa, Bill (bottom left) during WWII.
I didn't know what to call this post, so "With tons of love" seemed right.
This photo is a collection of keepsakes, a part of our family history.
Three of my grandparents served in WWII, and they are all pictured here.
My Grandpa, Vin Drummond (pictured in the top left, centre left and centre right photos), was a Craftsman in the 2/117 Australian Infantry Brigade Workshop, stationed in Balikpapan in Borneo.
My Papa, Bill Carmichael, was a Sergeant in the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion, serving in England, Egypt, Greece, Crete, Palestine, Syria, Papua New Guinea and finally Borneo.
My Nana, Jean Carmichael (nee Hiskins), was with the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in Britain, and worked as a psychological profiler.
They all returned home safely, but were left with mental or physical scars (or both) and memories that would never leave, particularly my Papa, Bill.
I am proud of my grandparents, but I don't think they'd ever say that the war 'defined' them, which is the language we hear from jingoistic politicians and a hyperbolic media. And then you see Gallipoli 'pilgrims' on the television in their 'Anzac Day' merchandise and it makes you cringe. It is why I have mixed feelings on ANZAC Day.
As the Australian Government prepares to embark on a four-year binge with a budget in the hundreds of millions of dollars, to commemorate the centenary of ANZAC, it is hard to accept that Australia's service men and women are still returning from overseas conflicts and not receiving the support they need from our Federal Government.
Many are relying on the support of the Australian public, and voices like Ben Quilty's.
It shouldn't be this way.