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Legacy Week 2014 Appeal

Legacy Week 2014 Appeal - Legacy

During my almost 40 years as a soldier, I have had the privilege of commanding Australian men and women at every level, at home and abroad, in peace and in war. One whose story stands out to me is Lance Corporal Ricky Dominguez. I want to share with you how Legacy – and generous people like you – have helped his family.

It was hard enough for Joanne Dominguez to whisper a tearful last goodbye to Ricky, the love of her life. She then faced an even more gut-wrenching conversation: explaining to their two and a half year old son Jesse that his father had died as a result of his Army service in East Timor and they would never see him again.

As you can imagine, Joanne is still overcome with emotion when she is asked about those terrible days. Sadly she was the one who found Ricky after he tragically took his life in 2009, having succumbed to Post Traumatic Stress which he’d been fighting for six years after his deployment in East Timor. The crippling mental condition had ultimately seen the respected soldier and much-loved husband, father and step-dad medically discharged from the Army.

Joanne was devastated by losing her best friend and the life they were building together after falling head-over-heels in love. “Just continuing on was overwhelming,”she says.

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Legacy has also provided financial and hands-on support to Joanne’s children, particularly Jesse, now an inquisitive lad of seven. In the early days, Joanne says, “Jesse would cry a lot for his dad.” Through Legacy programs, Jesse's enjoyed activities like camping, a favourite pastime of Ricky’s. “It’s really nice that Jesse can go along to the Legacy camp,” says Joanne. “They have the support of the Regiment and the guys that help and mentor the children can do those things for Jesse that he doesn’t have a dad to do. And he knows there are other kids in the same boat as him.”

Since 1942 Legacy Week has been a reminder of the sacrifice made by Australia’s defence forces. From August 31 to September 6 once more the nation will acknowledge fallen and returned heroes with Badge Day being a chance to buy an iconic ‘torch’ badge as your token of appreciation.

From August 31 to September 6, please will you reach out with a donation to Legacy that will mean so much to the more than 65,000 widow(er)s and 1,800 children and dependants with a disability needing ongoing help after losing loved ones?

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