In March 2015, I was medically discharged from the Army with no support and no home for my family. After three months of being separated from my biggest supporter, my husband, while we waited for our home to be finished, we were all finally reunited but I was more broken than before.
With no continuity of care, no psychological or medical support post discharge, my symptoms, and medical issues had increased to more than I could handle or hide anymore. My DVA claim had been rejected and I had to start the process again, so I turned to the one place I thought could help me – the RSL.
I had been around the RSL throughout my childhood as my grandma, Patricia Logar OAM, had been strongly involved in her local sub branch in Gawler, South Australia. It was what I thought I knew. I was wrong. I was wrong because when I reached out for help, I was disregarded in a way that was disrespectful and intimidating.
Instead of the offer of help and linking me to the support I needed, I was offered to join the Women’s Auxiliary and help fundraise for the sub branch. Although these women do an amazing job, it was not at all what I needed and it showed that the RSL didn’t respect the fact that I too had served.
My husband made me believe that I was worth fighting for and I continued to look for support. I found the Women Veterans’ Network and linked in with so many women veterans from the safety of my home. Through this network, I attended an information session where I met some amazing men from another sub branch.
They saw that I needed help and they offered it. Not only did they offer it, but they let me vent at how horrible it felt to have my service disregarded by another sub branch. I became a member of the sub branch, even though it is an hour drive away. The people at the Nelson Bay sub branch were accepting and supportive and that is exactly what I needed.