WATWB September 2021 – Stories of Now and Ben

This tweet, from a journo whom I went to school with, sent me down an internet rabbit hole.

The tweet is very recent. The story a bit older.

It’s a good news story for at least two people. The fine young Ben and for older Ben at least.

So, welcome to the #WATWB We Are The World Blogfest post for September 2021. Please follow other posts with the #WATWB. And…back to the story.

So Ben Farinazzo is a former Australian Army Officer who did tours of duty in the East Timor peacekeeping operation. He has been living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has recovered from a mountain bike accident causing a spinal injury as well.

The bio notes on his webpage tell it better:

I was fighting an internal battle against
post
-traumatic stress disorder, depression
and anxiety. I then broke my neck and back
in a mountain bike accident. It felt like I
was walking through the valley of the
shadow of death.

Three years later I represented Australia in
indoor rowing and powerlifting at Invictus
Games Sydney 2018 and was fortunate to
win two gold medals. Today, I am a proud
Australia Day Ambassador and support
mental health, veterans and sport.

This is a fabulous story about brokenness, reconnection and resilience. You may also want to check Ben’s Youtube channel for footage the like the screenshot of the one featured here.

Source: Ben Farinazzo YouTube Channel

This is a good introduction by Ben Himself.

Since I posted this another chapter emerged on ABC News Australia about how to two Bens were reunited.

================================

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Taken

TemoraCenotaph2015

Taken

We who are left behind do not know, taste and smell the real horrors of war. It is relayed to us. We see it in those who return. Occasionally, at times like Anzac Day, we are given a rare gift of empathy with those affected by war. We are somehow taken into their experience. We are also taken to a place of raw emotion ourselves.

Taken

(i)

They were taken

By a cause

By ‘the Services’

To the front.

They were taken

And some

Were never given back.

(ii)

Some returned,

Some with spirits broken,

An innocence in them

Taken away.

As we think on them

We are taken

By their courage and sacrifice.

We are taken

By their pain

Their listless, wistful

Half-lived life.

(iii)

At memorial services

We are taken

As the hymns play

And we are taken

Somewhere deep within.

Where we hear:

Whistling shells,

The crack of guns,

And booms of cannons,

And drones of aircraft fly by.

The sound hits upon us

Like a torrent of rushing waters

And we feel as if we

Are taken

Under,

Drowning in a sea of war.

(iv)

At Dawn Services

We are taken

In the silence before the dawn

By the solemn flying over

Of planes in peace time,

Like sentinels,

Guarding our ritual remembrance.

We are taken by their care.

BarellanMonument2015

Simon C.J Falk           25/26 April 2015

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