Support our troops and veterans this Christmas

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While many Australians may flock overseas for a Christmas summer holiday, deployed personnel from the Australian Defence Force would give anything to be at home in the heat, enjoying a festive feast with friends and family.

Troops deployed on overseas operations welcome support from members of the public, particularly at Christmas, when they are away from loved ones.

How can you show your support? The preferred method is sending an email expressing your support, thoughts and prayers. Emails sent to deployed personnel are distributed widely and lift the morale of members on operations.

If you’re interested in such support, email supportthetroops@defence.gov.au. Alternatively, you can always take the time to view messages sent home from troops who are serving overseas. While troops enjoy receiving messages from Australians at home, they enjoy sending messages just as much. In preparation for Christmas, troops send video messages home to family, friends, and the Australian public. These messages can be viewed at the Defence Video Gallery this month at www.defence.gov.au.

What not to do: Last year, Defence were overwhelmed by more than 40 tonnes (20,000) care packages for about 2,400 deployed personnel. Unfortunately, when they receive this much mail, it takes a long time to process it, and it does not get to deployed troops in time. The cut off for parcels was in November, so again it’s best to send an email if you’d like troops to read your messages over Christmas.

Why not support Veterans in the Ipswich area instead?
If you wish to contribute more than an email, the Department of Defence encourages you to make a lasting contribution to ex-service organisations that support returned Defence personnel, Veterans and their families. There are a range of different organisations in Australia that provide ongoing services to returned troops in the areas of mental health, employment support, training, and individual and family welfare. Two fantastic local organisations to contribute to are Legacy Ipswich and the West Moreton and Ipswich RSL Sub Branches. Donations made to these ex-service organisations contribute to the ongoing support of Ipswich residents to those who have served Australia.