Remembrance Day, this Friday 11th November, celebrates one of the most significant Australian commemorations and provides an opportunity to reflect on Australia’s contribution to past and present conflicts.
In 1923 Legacy made a promise to help veterans’ families carry on with their lives after the loss or injury of their loved one. It was a simple promise that Legacy keeps today; providing the same stability, guidance and assistance that a partner would normally provide to his or her family. Today, Legacy supports 43,000 partners and children of veterans who gave their lives or health while serving the country.
We hear the story of Chris Young, who joined the army at age 15 and has suffered from PTSD since his service, has received significant support for his son Jake from Sydney Legacy.
This is his story.
Chris Young was the same age as his son, Jake, when he joined the Australian Army, aged 15. He later transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force, working as an aircraft technician for six years before discharging in 2000.
Chris found himself in a “dark place” upon his discharge, having developed PTSD as a result of his service. He was introduced to Legacy through a military-based charity in his then-hometown of Kempsey but was initially apprehensive when Legacy first reached out to offer support.
“I was just bouncing around in the universe, basically, until Legacy grabbed hold of me and started shaking me a little bit, gave me a helping hand and put me back on the straight and narrow,” he said.
The Young family were assigned a local Legacy community service worker (CSW), a professional welfare staff member who provides tailored support to those under Legacy’s care.
“Our Legacy CSW, Janelle, brought us out of the dark area and helped keep the black dog at bay,” Chris said.
From the age of 10, Jake has been an avid Jiu-Jitsu fighter. He trains up to six times a week and is currently preparing for the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which he will be competing in later this year.
A doting father, Chris is immensely proud of Jake, who holds the Jiu Jitsu State Championship title for his age category in all Australian states and territories except Western Australia and South Australia.
Chris constantly seeks the best possible training environments for Jake to improve and grow as a martial artist and as a young man. His commitment to Jake’s development ensures his ability to develop his ever-evolving skills.
Legacy has a long history of nurturing the development of children like Jake. Since becoming a part of the Legacy family five years ago, Legacy has supported Jake on his journey to becoming a professional martial arts instructor.
“Legacy helps us with Jake’s jujitsu expenses because flying everywhere and travelling to competitions gets very expensive,” Chris said.
“Previously, Legacy has supported us financially with Jake’s school fees and a computer to help him with his education, as well as monthly pocket money,” he added.
However, it’s the “support that goes on in the background” that Chris is particularly thankful for.
“Just receiving a phone call from Legacy shows that they care. Even though we are technically now ‘low demand’ compared to when we first joined Legacy, it doesn’t matter.
“You’re not a number to Legacy. You’re part of a family.”