New welfare team co-ordinator
The Ettalong-based Vietnam Veterans, Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association Centrla Coast Sub-Branch has a new welfare team coordinator, Mr Bob Viles.
Mr Viles has replaced Mr Jack Chalker, who had been in the role for over 20 years but remains part of the welfare team.
Mr Viles said the four-strong welfare team looked after all veterans, including those who remain from World War II, Vietnam and more recent conflicts.
"We look after them in times of need and that may include helping to organise their funerals, hospital visits or what ever is necessary in relation to their families," Mr Viles said.
"Most Vietnam Veterans are now in their early 70s and many have long-term conditions that date back to their service including nervous conditions," he said.
"We also have veterans coming in to the drop-in centre who have served in Afghanistan.
"Some are reluctant to admit they need help because that is a difficult thing to do but we are trying to get the word out that we have a drop-in centre here so you can just come for a cup of tea or to have some lunch with us."
The welfare team is on hand at 32 Broken Bay Rd, Ettalong, between 9am and 1pm Mondays and Wednesdays but veterans in need can ask their own GP or the Vietnam Veteran's Counselling Service for a referral to the local organisation.
The welfare services can offer veterans advice on where to get help on issues as diverse as divorce, family difficulties, addiction or the loss of a partner.
"We have big shoulders and no problem is too big or too small and our service is non-judgemental and confidential.
"Sometimes all you need is somewhere to go and someone to listen."
Interview, 7 Jun 2017
Bob Viles, VVPPCC
Reporter: Jackie Pearson
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