Honours overdue for Pearce veterans
Posted on Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Forty six years after his official records show his departure from the Defence Force, Brian Forbes was today presented with his Australian Defence Medal in a ceremony hosted by the Federal Member for Pearce, Judi Moylan.
“Its been a long time, but its great to see that the people who helped keep things running for those on the frontline do get recognised,” Mr Forbes said, “even though I’m the Airman that never existed!”
Defence records do not appear to show Mr Forbe’s service of over 11 years with the RAAF after he was wooed from the Army where he originally enlisted.
“I’ve got my discharge papers” Mr Forbes said, “so it’s a bit of a mystery why I don’t exist!”
“I was a ‘techo’ [technician], and we don’t normally get recognised for the contribution we make, so it is great to finally get some sort of recognition for the role we play.”
Along with Mr Forbes, Ms Moylan had the pleasure of presenting Mr Murray Frean with his ADM, who switched to a career in accounting in 1999 after his service with the 1st Commando Regiment.
Watched by his wife and two young children, Mr Frean explained that he chose a career in the military as he felt that he could make a difference, helping keep Australia safe and secure for generations to come.
“The things that you do are amazing; like jumping from planes; but in the end you know that you are doing it for your country, for your family and ultimately to protect people.”
In thanking both men, Ms Moylan remarked that “the performance of personnel in the service of the nation often goes unrecognised” and that is was a pleasure to host the function as “this medal goes some way to recognising the shortfall.”
City of Swan Mayor Charlie Zannino presented Mr Frean with his medal, and the President of the Ellenbrook RSL Sub-branch, Mr Steve O’Neil presented Mr Forbes with his medal.