LEST WE FORGET - Plans underway for ANZAC Day next week
ANZAC Day is almost upon us with the Whitsunday community preparing for a variety of ceremonies across the region on April 25.
On Anzac Day we all dip our heads in honour of those who have served our country and those in the armed forces who continue to serve. Whilst Anzac Day tends to conjure images of historic events such as World War II and Vietnam, war is certainly not a thing of the past as returned soldier Kyle Teale will attest. A former Private, Teale joined the army at the age of 19 and at just 21-years old served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Teale, who was based in Townsville at 1RAR, said the experiences of war were hard to explain, particularly to the folks back home. Teale's fiancé (now wife) Bek Kerr often went for long periods of time without hearing from her partner, but as Teale reasoned, "it's part of the job".
"It's hard at times, but what they do over there to help soldiers communicate with families is great," he said. Just a few weeks into Teale's tour in Afghanistan he lost a friend in his platoon.
"It made it hit home how real everything was over there. It wasn't just training anymore," he said.
Teale left the armed forces last year to start a "normal life" here in Airlie Beach, but says he will always be proud of his service to Australia.
"I still feel passionate and patriotic and I think I always will," he said.
Next Wednesday will be Teale's first Anzac Day in the Whitsundays and he is encouraging other young people to participate in the day, to ensure its traditions continue for future generations.
"It isn't only about people who have served. It's about people who are serving currently and maybe they haven't gone overseas but they're still serving their country, whether it's in Australia or not," he said.
Anzac Day program 2012
Dawn Service - Cannonvale Cenotaph, 5.30am
Gunfire breakfast - Reef Gateway Hotel, 6.30am
Main march - departing Broadwater Avenue carpark, 8.30am for an 8.45am start
Main service - Esplanade park - around 9am
Lunch - Reef Gateway Hotel, from 12pm
Two-up - Reef Gateway Hotel, 1.30-3.30pm
Dawn Service - Proserpine Cenotaph (Entertainment Centre), 4.28am
Gunfire breakfast - Ex-services club, 6am
Main march - departing Ex-services club, 10.15am for a 10.30am start
Main service - Proserpine Cenotaph - around 10.45am
Lunch - Ex-services club, 12.30pm