The countdown is now on until the annual Australian Defence Force (ADF) and National Service Reunion, formerly the Allied Forces and Nashos Reunion, which is set for March 8, 9 and 10.
A name change for this year’s reunion is hoped to encourage more current service personnel to attend, rather than just National Servicemen and ex-service personnel.
“We want to bring in the young ones, the next generation,” reunion sub-committee member Margaret Wetzler said.
With that in mind, this year’s special guest will be Major retired Andrew Cullen, who served in the Australian Army for 17 years, retiring in 2012, and his wife Zoe.
He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following multiple deployments to Afghanistan, during which he was part of the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team, responsible for disarming improvised explosive devices (IEDs), recovering bodies and cleaning up after bombs went off.
Major Cullen and his wife Zoe have co-written a book called Resurrection, which details their journey of healing from Andrew’s PTSD, which spiralled out of control on his return home from the war.
As the guest speakers for the reunion dinner on Saturday, March 9, Major Cullen will speak about his experiences with PTSD, while Zoe will speak about how the family coped.
“We’ve been trying to hone in on the welfare side of things,” Ms Wetzler said.
“The talk will not just be for the vets but for their families as well.”
Numbers may be down slightly from last year’s reunion as a result of the drought and floods in Queensland, however a few hundred people are still expected to attend, coming from all over NSW and interstate.
The reunion is set to begin on Friday, March 7 with a meet and greet at Moree Services Club, before the main day on Saturday, which will include the march and dinner.
Moree female vocal group Serendipity will provide the entertainment at Saturday night’s dinner, catering to a mixed crowd with songs from various eras.
The dinner is open to members of the Moree public to attend. Cost is $50 per ticket which includes a two course meal, coffee and entertainment. Tickets are limited and can be purchased from Sylvia’s Fabrics or Moree Services Club by Monday, March 4.
On Sunday, there’ll be a barbecue brunch at Moree Services Club, followed by a bus tour to a local point of interest. For those staying on Monday, there’ll be an optional full day bus tour to Lightning Ridge.
Bookings for the reunion are still being taken. Call (02) 6754 6843 for more information or to secure your spot.
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