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Community Event to honour fallen soliders

The West Wyalong community is encouraged to turn out in force when ex-serviceman Brian Freeman carries a Roll of Honour containing the names of the 41 Australian soldiers who lost their lives serving Australia in Afghanistan into the West Wyalong High School MPU next Wednesday, 22 July.

As part of “A Tribute to the Anzacs” being conducted by registered charity group Walking Wounded, Mr Freeman is leading a team of returned soldiers and representatives from Families of the Fallen who will walk and run 65 kilometres per day for 65 days with the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) from Cape York to Victoria’s Port Welshpool, before kayaking across the Bass Strait to complete the final kilometres to Australia’s most southerly point, South East Cape.

Bland Shire Council has partnered with Walking Wounded and a number of local schools to support The Tribute to the Anzacs and honour the memory of the brave soldiers who lost their lives serving their nation in Afghanistan by holding a free community event at the MPU at midday next Wednesday, 22 July.

Official proceedings will commence at midday with an official welcome and performance of the national anthem and be followed by an address from Pam Palmer, the mother of a fallen Australian soldier.

Mrs Palmer’s heartfelt address will be followed by performances by the St Mary’s and Wyalong Public School choirs. West Wyalong High School and St Mary’s School students will also recite a poem prior to the highly anticipated arrival of Mr Freeman, a 20 year Australian Army veteran, holding the Roll of Honour.

Mr Freeman is expected to address the crowd at approximately 12.40pm before celebrations move outdoors for a sausage sizzle lunch provided by Bland Shire Council and entertainment including a simple army obstacle course, army face painting and a close up inspection of a bushmaster vehicle.

“When Walking Wounded contacted Council about the possibility of holding an event in West Wyalong we jumped at the chance,” Bland Shire Council Community Relations Officer, Craig Sutton said.

“It is a great opportunity for our young people and wider community to gain a greater understanding and appreciation about the impacts of war and immense sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families.”

“As well as honouring the Australian soldiers who have lost their lives in Afghanistan, Walking Wounded also aims to raise awareness and funding to support the psychological recovery of returned Australian soldiers. Funds raised go towards suicide prevention and intervention, counseling, employment guidance and job placements.”

“It would be great to see a large crowd in attendance to support the event and listen to the inspiring words of Pam Palmer and Brian Freeman and marvel at the talents of some of our local youth.”

Walking Wounded is a registered charity organisation that was founded in 2014 by Mr Freeman with the mission of supporting the psychological recovery and rehabilitation of returned Australian soldiers from recent conflicts.

Walking Wounded’s key relationships include Prime Ministers and Governor Generals (past and present), military leaders, business leaders and celebrities. The Roll of Honour was presented to Walking Wounded by the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), on Remembrance Day 2014 and will be returned to the Governor General at the Australian War Memorial on the eve of Remembrance Day 2015.

Anyone wishing to donate or learn more about Walking Wounded can visit the official website at www.walkingwounded.org.au