I can’t believe it. On Saturday, we gathered to honour the life and memory of Jesse Bird, another Veteran lost to this crisis.
CAPTION: Julie-Ann Finney ties a yellow ribbon around a tree in Adelaide on World PTSD Awareness Day.
In Adelaide, I set out to tie 600 yellow ribbons to honour the 600 Veterans lost to suicide. But so many more turned up, and so many more ribbons were tied.
In Adelaide, I was joined by federal politicians Penny Wong, Rex Patrick, Marielle Smith, Steve Georganas, and several South Australian state Labor MPs including Tony Piccolo.
I also received calls on the day from Jacqui Lambie and Pauline Hanson.
In Coffs Harbour, another 600 yellow ribbons were tied on the harbour foreshore.
All across Australia, people came out to stand with Veterans.
My inbox is full of photos of people tying yellow ribbons around trees to honour the memories of those brave men and women who’ve lost their battles.
For every ribbon, there are countless broken hearts. Mums, dads, siblings, partners, kids, and friends. All coping with grief and loss.
How many more lives must be lost before a government does the right, brave thing and calls this Royal Commission?
We, the families left behind, have been asking for it for more than one hundred years.
Please, don’t let this issue disappear. Our Veterans are still dying. They are living in poverty, experiencing homelessness, struggling with addiction.
We know Veterans are being broken. Only a Royal Commission will help us understand how and why, and what needs to be done to ensure not one more mother knows this type of grief.
To everyone who came out to tie their ribbon, thank you.
To the politicians who stood with us and stay standing with us, thank you.
To Karen Bird, Jesse’s Mum, I honour the memory of your beautiful son and I stand with you in your grief.
So many of us do.
proud mother of Dave Stafford Finney
If you or someone you know needs help, please phone Lifeline on 131 114, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.