CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
There are some sorry heads at workplaces across the nation today, after millions of Anzac Day revellers drank pubs dry and emptied their wallet well into the night.
The public holiday on Tuesday had people flooding pubs and RSLs as early as 9am, with punters in high spirits as they commemorating Australia’s fallen soldiers with roaring two-up circles.
Popularised by Australian troops during WWI, the gambling game is banned year-round with the exception of April 25 – Anzac Day – and other special military events.
While Queensland pubs and clubs need written permission from the local RSL to host games of two-up, scenes were particularly wild in Sydney and Melbourne yesterday – as the solemn public holiday transformed into somewhat of a casino atmosphere.
However, for some veterans and former defence force personnel, Anzac Day is not fun at all. With the very public ‘celebrations’ of their service driving home the fact that our troops are offered very little support when they return from serving the country.
With the bureaucracy-plagued Veterans Affairs office left underfunded at the bottom of the government’s to-do-list, and Ferderal Parliament fighting tooth-and-nail to avoid a Royal Commission into the neglect of returned servicemen and women for the best part of a decade – droves of younger veterans feel ignored and forgotten by a society that would prefer to focus on the comfortably historical Gallipoli campaign and nothing else.
Although, this is not the case for one local veteran, Ken* – who says he woke up in his car this morning to learn that his debilitating post-traumatic-stress-disorder and lack of housing security was suddenly solved.
“It’s amazing what a minute’s silence and a couple wreaths can do” he says.
“Everything is suddenly fixed. My very real issues are no longer being ignored”
As Ken points out, having the entire nation taking a day off to get pissed in his honour surprisingly resulted in real support being provided to him and his former army mates.
“You wouldn’t believe it, I now have a reliable housing situation and access to appropriate mental health services”
“I thought ANZAC Day was just an opportunity for politicians to post photos of themselves attending a Dawn Service on social media”
“But I guess they really do remember me!”