I am really happy that Anzac Day is so well supported by younger people, some who have never really been touched by war. I am proud to have relatives who have served in several wars and although they all survived the war, their lives were vastly shortened because of it.
My Grandfather William Arthur Hailes served in WW 2 and ended up a POW on the very tough Burma Railway, already in his 40's. My uncle George Hailes served in the Army in WW 2 in several campaigns .
My father Able Seaman William Hailes served on HMAS Arunta throughout the world and had the dubious job of being part of the occupation forces after the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Japan. My brother Brian Hailes was in the Army but luckily the Vietnam war ended before he had to go.
I am equally as proud of my father in law Gerhard Erdbrink who was basically on the other side during the war . As a young man of 15 he was forced to become part of "Hitler Youth" and sent to war, he doesn't talk about it but I know at the end of the war he got stuck in the East and had to escape to get home.
All the brave men and women who have served over the years have done so without regard for themselves to give us the life we have. I salute you all - Lest We Forget.
RIP Abel Seaman Hailes and thank you for all you gave me to make me the person I am today.