#WATWB November Serving after Service

Photo: Canberra Times.

Welcome to We Are The World #WATWB for November. Our generous co-hosts are Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Susan Scott and Sylvia Stein. Please visit their blogs too.


We all know people who have served our respective countries in Military Service. My post for this month is about how some of them continue with their life after serving. A Veterans Employment Program, started in 2016, is helping former Military personnel to thrive in civilian life.

By following the link you will get to meet Drew Twigg.

Snowy Hydro Murray region area manager Drew Twigg left the military about 10 years ago to pursue a corporate career. He interviewed for the job via satellite phone from his post in Afghanistan, where he was part of the elite Special Air Services team.

He now lives with his young family in Khancoban, a small town about four hours south-west of Canberra. It’s a place he describes as a safe environment in the hills he loves.

As part of the Veterans Employment Coalition, Snowy Hydro is helping veterans make that transition. Mr Twigg is assisting with the technicalities.

“I now have this unique position that I can translate a lot of the military acronyms,” he said.

There is also a story about Kelly Walter. As the Canberra Times continues:

It can be quite daunting to figure out what you want to be in the real world, Mornington Peninsula mother-of-two Kelly Walter says.

After spending 13 years in the navy as a maritime logistics officer, it was during her second pregnancy that Kelly decided to transition into something else to spend more time at home with her children.

In 2014 she started her own small business selling a range of planning boards, initially something she needed in her own home to keep track of her family’s busy schedule. The business name, Daily Orders, a nod to her time in the military.

Kelly says any assistance transitioning out of Defence would be gratefully received by people like her.

“To be able to recognise that a veteran is nowadays not just a man you might meet at the RSL who served in the Vietnam War.

“It’s people like me, women in their mid-30s who are mothers, fathers in their 20s. It’s a whole range.”

There are more stories in the article.

Photo: Canberra Times

This post features those who, having acquired trade skills or university degrees in the Military, are able to transition into civilian career paths. We also remember those who have served, but did not receive a trade or degree, and we hope that they find a new life after Military service.

As November is a month of remembrance I have chosen a poem more suitable to such a cause. Whilst it refers to England, many other peoples have found solace in its verses.

“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Would you like to join this #WATWB Blogfest?

Once again, here are the guidelines for #WATWB:

1. Keep your post to Below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. Link to a human news story on your blog, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Paste in an excerpt and tell us why it touched you. The Link is important, because it actually makes us look through news to find the positive ones to post.

3. No story is too big or small, as long as it Goes Beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD badge or banner on your Post and your Sidebar. Some of you have already done so, this is just a gentle reminder for the others.

5. Help us spread the word on social media. Feel free to tweet, share using the #WATWB hastag to help us trend!

Tweets, Facebook shares, Pins, Instagram, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. We’ll try and follow and share all those who post on the #WATWB hashtag, and we encourage you to do the same.Have your followers click Here to enter their link and join us! Bigger the #WATWB group each month, more the joy!


Author: simonfalk28

Country lad, Focussing on verse.

29 thoughts on “#WATWB November Serving after Service”

  1. I don’t know how it works in other countries, but the US seems to have a problem with ignoring our vets after they’re done with their service. Sure, they get 5% discounts on gum and stuff like that, but it often looks like they’re ignored after they take off the uniform and I find that sad. It’s good to see people out there working together.

  2. A smooth and successful transition from military to civilian role is something that every military personnel would love to have. It’s wonderful that it’s becoming a reality for so many. Thanks for sharing this positive story, Simon 🙂

  3. That transition from the forces can be very hard Simon, not that I know personally. These are extraordinary people who do make it though and help others in return to do so.

    I was struck by Binyon’s poem – somehow these lines (excerpted) lines are imprinted on me. I remember the excerpt below in my father’s handwriting:

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    Thank you for this post. And I hope you’re getting better and stronger daily ..

    1. Oh yes, Susan. That stanza is very familiar to us too. Each year on Anzac Day (25 April) and Remembrance Day (11 November) it is recited in public and religious ceremonies. The people respond in unison with “We will remember them, lest we forget.” I’d often wondered about the whole poem. So I tracked it down to Laurence Binyon. I’m so glad it also reminds you of your father’s handwriting. Thanks for visiting.

  4. This is an encouraging story Simon. We in the U.S. are far less successful in addressing this issue, and given the extent of our military forces it’s clearly a significant and troubling problem. It’s good to see models of successful programs and the dedication required to make them happy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Deborah. I’d like to hope that many nations could have programs such as this one. To be fair to your people (especially in your Thanksgiving week) we Aussies still have a long way to go too. This program helps officers who have gained qualifications while serving. A number of those Australians who joined up straight after leaving school did not get to finish trades or degrees. Some of them came home from Afghanistan with little more than their mates and their pain. I hope we can find a way to help them as well. But, at least we have begun 😊

  5. Hi Simon – thankfully there are people who are around now to help those in need … transition from an active serving career into something that can help others, as they themselves have struggled … organisations are realising that we need to give help and be there for employees who then struggle. Thanks for highlighting these two and others … cheers Hilary

  6. This is such a great idea. Our veterans are sadly overlooked after they return to civilian life. They and their families endure so much during their deployments they deserve programs like this. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. #WATWB

    1. I’m so glad that you mentioned families as well, Belinda. They must go through extraordinary times of rupture and change. Let’s hope that these programs spread to help more and more people. Thanks for visiting and for all you do for our #WATWB.

  7. How wonderful it is when someone recognizes a need and fills it, rather than waiting for someone else to implement it. Programs like this are undoubtedly making such a difference in the lives of the vets and their families as they all adjust to a new season of life. Nice feature this month!

    1. Thanks Michelle. Binyon’s poem did seem rather timely for a Remembrance month. Hope all well at home for you with all the activity happening over the border in Zimbabwe.

  8. Veterans have risked their lives for and limbs: they deserve all the support they can get.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Simon—and also the poem, which I loved.

    Thanks also for all that your support for the watwb.

  9. this is so wonderful and inspiring. For the longest time Veterans have done so much for us by putting themselves at risks with their own lives. I love this post and the poem was beautiful. Thanks for sharing this story, Simon.

  10. This is a very heartwarming story. Being part of a family that has long been part of the Indian Armed Forces, I know just how difficult it is for a soldier to make the transition into the normal ‘civilian’ life. They are being of great help to people. I wish something like this existed in India too. Here retired (veterans) Armed Forces personnel often have to use their own wits to find new jobs. And like you mentioned, some earn degrees while being in the forces, but those who don’t, have a hard time finding employment outside. Great post, Simon!

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