As the Christmas and New Year season for 2009/10 draws to a conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the CDF, to offer our sincere appreciation to the hundreds of families and individuals who have taken the time, effort and expense to support ADF troops currently serving in operational theatres across the world.
The Christmas and New Year period can be a difficult time for deployed forces and their families as they celebrate these special occasions removed from the usual comforts of home and the gatherings of families, friends and loved ones. The large number of heartfelt letters, messages and care packs that have been sent to our deployed forces from all over Australia have assisted in a very personal and meaningful way to bring the spirit of Christmas, and the support of their fellow Australians, to the approximately 4000 troops currently serving on operations.
Our appreciation is also extended to the media and communications organisations who supported the transmission of messages to and from the troops. Your services are very much appreciated.
We are enormously proud of the significant operational achievements of our troops serving overseas and on our borders. The wonderful support offered to our troops over the past few weeks confirms for me that this pride is felt just as strongly throughout the Australian community. Thank you to everyone who made the effort to bring the spirit of Christmas to our deployed forces in 2009.
Lieutenant General K.J. Gillespie AO, DSC, CSM
Acting CDF and CA
Thank you 4 RAR . . . . Stand Proud !
Ladies and gentlemen of the 4 RAR family, your families and friends,
You may recall that prior to the Christmas period a memo was distributed by Army Public Relations Office that care packs should not be sent to our troops overseas during the Christmas period because it would place too much of a strain on the logistics system serving our troops overseas. I recoiled at this stated nonsense, and the 4 RAR Association, Qld replied in no uncertain terms to those responsible for the release of the memo. It then happened that the other 4 RAR associations, the RAR Associations and other military associations supported and agreed with my actions (if not my vocabulary), as did many higher and lower ranks within the Army, many individual civilians and civilian organisations including the SES, Ambulance services, TAFE colleges, schools and many others. Three new Military Post Offices were subsequently opened to handle the expected influx of care packages expected to be sent overseas.
I am proud to say that the response from all concerned was overwhelming and totally unexpected. I do not know how many Christmas care packages were finally sent to our troops but I am sure that there were many, perhaps hundreds. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and also please accept the thanks of the 4 RAR Association, Qld for your most welcome contribution to the welfare and well being of those serving overseas who received your care packages. Some may receive personal thanks from our soldiers in reply while many, who gave anonymously, may not. May I be so presumptuous as to, on behalf of all those soldiers, thank you and offer you the highest praise that one warrior may give to another; Well Done!
You made someone’s Christmas in a combat zone a much better time than they may have had. You also showed that the Australian people acknowledge and support our troops. You made a difference. Remember, as I am sure you do, that soldiers merely follow the orders of their government. Soldiers do not start or indeed, finish wars, they merely fight the battle and our soldiers do it so well!.
President, 4 RAR Assoc, Qld
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