ANZAC Day is often associated with the sacrifice many young men and women made for Australia in World War I and II, but one army captain in Orange says there is now much more to the day than just recognising the lives that were lost.
Captain Frank Ware, commanding officer at Orange’s army barracks, has been deployed overseas on postings as a nursing officer in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Timor. In Afghanistan, he worked in the field with a United States trauma team on aeromedical retrievals, and said many people don’t understand the role Australian forces play in current conflicts.
“People recognise the Australian army for their combat expertise, but many people don’t know we mainly do humanitarian work,” Captain Ware said.
“It mightn’t be our war, but we still have a role to play.”
Captain Ware received the Army Combat Badge in recognition of his service in Afghanistan, and said one of the main jobs for Australian troops was to help villagers rebuild their lives.
“Some villages you go to, the Taliban are there and you do what you have to do,” he said. “But many villages we went to, the local population welcomed us and they wanted freedom as much as anyone.
“Part of the Anzac tradition is the Australian ethos of everyone deserves a fair go. That’s the basic idea behind the work we do.”
Captain Ware said he will be at the dawn service and the main march down Summer Street today, and that Anzac Day will always be important to him.
“People recognise the Australian army for their combat expertise, but many people don’t know we mainly do humanitarian work"
“Before I was in the army, I marched for what had been done in the past, but now I march for what has happened and is currently going on, as well as the past,” he said.
The march down Summer Street is expected to attract thousands of people, and Captain Ware said it’s great so many people want to remember past and present sacrifices that defence force members have made.
“Both my kids will be marching,” he said. “I often wonder if it’s because dad’s in the army, but our schools are very good at promoting it.”