REMEMBERED: Sapper David Wood while on his second tour of Afghanistan in 2012.
REMEMBERED: Sapper David Wood while on his second tour of Afghanistan in 2012. Contributed

Memorial to honour fallen soldiers who suffered PTSD

FAMILY of Afghanistan war veteran, David Wood, who took his own life in 2013 after suffering post traumatic stress disorder, will see his name unveiled on the Australian War Memorial honour roll on November 10.

The momentous day for the family from Bora Ridge, near Coraki, will also see Sapper Wood be officially recognised as the 42nd Australian casualty of the war in Afghanistan.

Michael Wood said the family waited 12 months for the War Memorial to reach a decision on whether David's name would be included on the honour roll.

The decision also paves the way for other sufferers of war-induced PTSD to be included on the honour roll.

Recently, Mr Wood told the Northern Star Australian War Memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson had invited the entire family to Canberra, on November 10, for the unveiling.

"We were invited by Dr Brendan Nelson to a special ceremony to change the honour roll cast to add David's name," he said.

"I think it will be very sad, but it will also help with the healing a lot."

Michael, his wife Mandy, their five children and David's grandparents, Roger and Robyn, will travel to Canberra for the unveiling.

Mr Wood said the acknowledgement of David's condition by retired Army Chief General David Morrison was appreciated.

Thanks to a lot of representation and lobbying by former Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, Mr Wood said David was now officially recognised as the 42nd Australian Afghanistan war casualty.

Ms Saffin said she approached then Defence Minster Stephen Smith about honouring sapper Wood in 2013.

"It was a first, it had never happened before, so when you're breaking new ground, no matter how worthy and just it is, it's not straight forward," she said.

"Authorities, and particularly defence, would worry about a precedent.

"So I had to advocate in a way to overcome all of that."

Ms Saffin said after about two-years lobbying and talking to various ministers and officials she received the good news.

"The cause was so just, I just kept going," she said.

"All soldiers should be honoured for their contribution and this was a way we could honour David."



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