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Over the past month, we have been reading articles from Happy Expat about our boys on the frontline. I have to hand it to him. It made me start to think again. 

The journey down the path of a road we never knew we wanted to explore but found ourselves walking down nonetheless.  We have marched side by side through the swamps and quagmires of our wartorn past and felt the bite of a thousand mosquitoes; dysentery and malnutrition. And these days, all we do is view it from the comfort of our heated or air-conditioned homes as part of a news story.

And we say, almost with an automatic response, Lest We Forget. Are we saying this because it rolls off the tongue? No meaning? Have we forgotten what these brave people did? 

The Main Stream Media just seem to pump out this phrase so that it loses its meaning.

It is part of our heart and soul and our history and our sense of self. 

WE know that Lest We Forget means exactly that.

LEST WE FORGET.

We must NEVER forget what people died for and died in a prisoner of war camp and all the other hell holes the left-wing media call combat zones.

We died. We were tortured. We suffered. My friends are no longer here because they gave a damn.

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Private O Robinson who was at a POW camp at Hainan Island, where some Gulf Force soldiers were taken when captured.

(Courtesy: Australian War Memorial)

When Australians think of the World War II prison camps, they may think of Changi or know of the horror of the Thai-Burma railway.

But Max Gilbert, 94, receives blank stares if he tells someone he was part of the Army's Gull Force and held prisoner on Ambon Island in Indonesia.

"It still bothers me a little bit that so few people have ever heard of Ambon," he said at a memorial service in 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation.

Yet Ambon was among the bloodiest of the Japanese POW camps, and starvation, executions and diseases like beriberi were common.

Of the 1,131 Australian soldiers deployed to Ambon to help secure a strategic airstrip and harbour in December 1941, only 352 survived the war.

 

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Tantui camp, Ambon: Three-quarters of the prisoners of war there had died by the time the camp was liberated.

And when I say we I mean we. As a Nation, as families and as those who grew up without a father because some German or Jap or Vietcong killed our Dad. 

It does not matter if it is on the shores of Tripoli or in the ditches of Tobruk or the jungles of New Guinea or Vietnam or Korea. 

What matters is that our mates and others in generations long gone have died and we owe it to them to NEVER forget. 

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When I signed up, I did it because I loved my country. Australia.

The good looking birds and the pillow biters who present our news seem to crank it out like a buzz word. Just another phrase.  It is almost like a hashtag on social media so that you can get a few hits for some post you have made about something no one really gives two hoots about.

Yet not one of them has said anything about the heart and the soul of our Diggers and how they sailed off to Tripoli, to Tobruk, to Milne Bay, to Europe and fight for freedom.

 The CHARACTER of these people. The sense of mateship. 

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Over more than a hundred years, our Australian soldiers have headed off to far-flung places to " do their bit " to keep our hard-fought for Nation safe.

They have abandoned their farms and families and left the women to keep the home fires burning. 

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They did it to ensure that Australia would stay Australia.

Over the past month, we have read what our amazing boys achieved when they sailed and defended Australia thousands of miles away. They knew that what was happening in Europe could come to our shores and those brave buggers took the fight to the front and hoped to save Australia from invasion.

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The bombing of Darwin

They left their homes, their families and sailed to confront the enemy - how sacrificial was that? 

Over the past weeks, I have never been more proud to be an Australian.

 Yet, I have this very big question mark.

Our disregard for our Military personnel - thank Christ and God for Peter Dutton who has tried to set the record straight.

I am so bloody sick and tired of people getting in a lather with the Armed Forces. 

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For myself, as a Veteran, I have had a gutful of Government making noises about people doing or saying things that upset those who would not have fought to protect our Nation in the first place. Give me a break. It is WAR.

 Yet Politicians chip in and give their two bobs worth and all hell breaks loose.

How the hell do Politicians sitting in Canberra have any idea what the hell goes on in real life?

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Have they served on the front line? Have they seen someone's leg blown off?  Have they breathed in the air that stinks of death or the stench of fear that keeps you awake at night?

Have they heard the sounds of constant bombardment and known that whatever you do,  it might be the last thing that you ever do?

 

If our Government betrays us, they will betray all of us. I survived. Many of my mates did not.

It is time for our Government to defend us as we defended and defend them and all of the people of Australia. 

For me, I have had enough of the " Lest We Forget "  as a catch phrase and I want it to be said and pronounced proudly and without apology. 

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LEST WE FORGET.

We must not forget the sacrifices and the nights spent in tunnels full of fleas and lice at Tobruk or the mud in the tropics fighting dysentery and mosquitoes and sniper attacks.

We must not forget the dust storms and the coughing and the years of misery dying from TB or silicosis.

We must not forget the amputated limbs and the constant chop chop of the helicopters over the jungles of Vietnam.

We must not forget the condemnation that so many faced upon their return to Australia in the 1970's.

We must not forget the poor bastards that still lie somewhere in the South Pacific clutching the photo of the women they promised to come home and wed.

We must not forget the children who grew up without a father because he died to defend some ponce who wants to parade around in a dress and tell our grandkids that peace love and harmony will prevail.

If we allow our country, our world, our sense of SELF to be dumbed down, destroyed and sunk because some prick on twitter says it is offensive ; then all I can say is 

Have too many people forgotten? I say No. 

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As ANZAC Day approaches, my anger grows BUT my pride grows even greater.

I feel so stirred with a feeling of patriotism that I have never quite felt before. 

This ANZAC Day I will stand as a proud Veteran.

This year, I will stand with all of the proud soldiers and say, hand on heart, with more conviction than I could have thought possible. 

LEST WE FORGET.

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