ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and whilst the day is a commemoration of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25th April 1915, the concept of taking pause to remember, and to honour has grown to a National Day of Recognition.
“Anzac Day is a National Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Wikipedia
Today there are services, speeches, parades, gatherings and busy reunions in RSL clubs, all of which will be rightly covered by social and mainstream media.
Today I want to pay tribute to three mighty little warriors who quietly trotted through their babyhood, childhood, teen years and early adulthood with a father in service.
Alexandria, Harry and Annie experienced life as an ‘army family’. There was no way to escape this label and perhaps like many diverse groups, the naming was accepted within the green family as a positive term of endearment but taboo from those on the outside.
I never allowed my kids to be tagged this way. Suffice to say, I delivered the odd lesson on semantics usually with grace and humour but there were a few times that warranted cold fury contained as assertiveness.
Our kids may be ‘unseen’ in official recognition, but they were never unseen by us.
Their lives were completely shaped by the military service of their Dad including the frequent and long absences, missed milestones, multiple schools, lost friendships, early starts and late finishes and all the lumps and bumps that came with this extraordinary life.
There were many fabulous advantages too. Generous leave entitlements which enabled family reconnections, travel across our beautiful nation and adventures in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. They always rose to the challenge of new schools, making friends and surviving being the new kid but we know they found this more and more difficult and that they will forever bear the dints that only other ‘movers’ could understand.
We admired their positivity, were proud of their academic and sporting achievements and held tightly to the mantra that so long as we were all together – they would be ok.
Today we say – thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful smiles and kind hearts. We have really nice kids. They were and always have been the nice kids – the kids that got along with others, the kids that did not tease or bully, the kids that included everyone. The kids that whilst they were sad when they were left out and made to feel on the outside – readily and quickly forgave.
They became the adults who know how to work hard, get on with it, accept change and rise to challenges.
They became the adults who love deeply and personify integrity and fairness.
They became adults who are not frivolous with the love and devotion of their partners.
They also became adults who can get right back in the sandpit with their siblings, sometimes chucking a bit of that sand – but parenthood is improving this!
Thank you for putting up with the crazy moves and the jelly bellies that must have gone with the adventures.
Thank you for having frank conversations with us where collectively you point out the beneficial aspects of the unique life that families of service members experience and sharing all that you are thankful for.
Thank you especially that as adults you choose to visit, to stay, to relocate closer.
Thank you for being our wonderful, deeply loved and admired kids. We adore you and acknowledge every sacrifice you made – each and every day.
We thank God for each of you and the exceptional families you are building.
We’ll be seeing you all for more beach picnics, boat days, fire pitties, red wine debates, grandbubbers visits, dog sitting and grass laying! Surely the grass laying is done?
Date: Tuesday, 25 April 2023