Speaking on his role with DRA, Luke says, “I’ve been in Australia for five years and to be able to work for an Australian charity doing valuable work for the community and for fellow veterans is very fulfilling. It makes you feel very much a part of the community yourself.”
“Many veterans these days have some degree of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being deployed to places like Afghanistan, Iraq, East Timor and the like,” Luke says. “They struggle when they leave the military, as you leave behind a sense of identity, a sense of purpose and a sense of community.
“The work that the veterans do in a disaster zone gives them some of that back. When our volunteers are deployed to a disaster zone, they get a uniform (a blue t-shirt with our logo on it), and a clear picture of the team’s objective - they're there to help a community get back on its feet. Every individual knows the role they play in achieving the team’s goals, and in doing so, because they're working with like-minded individuals with similar experiences, our volunteers get back a sense of community as well.
“We've had veterans reporting back that during an operation, they had their best night’s sleep in years. We’ve had people comment that it’s almost like their PTSD symptoms just disappear for the period when they were on deployment.
“It’s quite a powerful thing,” Luke concludes.
To learn more about Disaster Relief Australia and the work they do around Australia click HERE.
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