While I don’t want to let my current emotion drive my comments, there is one point I want to make. Most Australians can’t comprehend what it’s like to fight a war. What it’s like to accept death and what it’s like go to war against evil.
And that’s a good thing.
So now at a time when it would be easy to stay silent, it is important to find the courage to speak. To share with people the realities of war and the fight against oppression. Without this, we can never learn from our experience and we have lost too much to not gain something.
While we went to Afghanistan to protect our citizens and western values, we were welcomed by, fought alongside and forged friendships with the Afghan people. They embraced our presence and wanted a better life for their people. We fought hard against terror and fear together.
There are a lot of diggers and Australian Veterans today feeling as though they have failed, that it was all for nothing.
I don’t think that’s the case.
While we didn’t achieve the mission in our imposed timeframe, we never failed in our commitment to help the Afghans realise freedom.
I believed in what I fought for and still do. I am proud of my service and the service of the people I fought alongside. They should be proud of their service too.
For the last twenty years we fought for the ultimate human right… freedom.
If we have the capacity, we should willingly do it again.
We should never give up the fight for justice of our fellow man.
To fight terror and make the world a better place.
Where Afghanistan goes from here will be up to the Taliban and the Afghan people. Their current and emerging leaders.
My thoughts are with them in these dark moments. I hope that they will find peace very soon.