VETERANS want your help to salvage and Anzac Day fundraising drive thrown into limbo by the coronavirus threat.
The Kangaroo Flat RSL's Anzac Appeal should be kicking into gear right now, with veterans setting up five stalls at supermarkets and hardware stores across Kangaroo Flat and the wider city.
Many of the people who usually man the stalls are older people and the Kangaroo Flat RSL will not risk their health by asking them to volunteer in crowded areas, president Craig Chilver said.
"If they were to catch the virus right now that could be a death sentence," he said.
Some businesses are not getting enough foot traffic for volunteers to justify volunteers setting up stalls, Mr Chilver said.
"We get a big percentage of what we sell back from (RSL headquarters) Anzac House, who give us the badges. That helps us support the welfare of veterans and members," he said.
"If we don't have a reasonable Anzac Day drive the widows and veterans are not going to receive any help from the RSL. We just can't put ourselves into debt."
Already, handyman jobs including lawn mowing and cleaning spouts have been cut from two to one hour a month at the homes of some RSL members in the region, Mr Chilver said.
The RSL branch has enough volunteers to have two stalls, one at Lansell Square and the other at the Golden Square Woolworths.
It also plans to set up a pop-up stall at its Station Street hall in the week before Anzac Day.
Don't forget Anzac spirit in these uncertain times: returned servicewoman
Kangaroo Flat RSL member and returned servicewoman Kirshy McAinch was stationed on HMAS Adelaide during the peacekeeping mission in East Timor at the turn of the millennium.
She urged people not to forget Anzac Day importance even if they were understandably concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic.
"From the class of people who went through the Defence Force Academy with me, 13 people have died. Several of those deaths have been on active service, including of one of my close friends," she said.
"There have also been a more significant number who have committed suicide.
"So Anzac Day morphs into all these opportunities to reflect on the sacrifices that people have made, wherever and however they have served, as well those of their families."
During her time in East Timor, Mrs McAinch's ship patrolled the capital's harbour to make sure large ships and humanitarian aid could come in.
The ship was also a base for special forces groups airlifting in and out for their work.
"We also had chaplains coming back to the ship each night after conducting mass burials," Mrs McAinch said.
"At the time you don't really realise the scale of all of this because you keep doing what you are doing. You are doing your hours on and then you sleep, eat and repeat.
"I was maybe 22-years-old at the time and didn't really think about it until much later, perhaps even until I became a mum.
"Then I started thinking about all those people I would see lined up on the jetties in East Timor, trying to get out with the kids, that I really started to think about the ways people can treat each other and the importance of that mission."
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