Breeanna Till was in the Air Force Cadets when she was introduced through a mutual friend to Sergeant Brett Till. She immediately thought Brett stood out as an extraordinary man, exhibiting many of the qualities she admired. In 2008, Brett and Bree married in a ceremony near their hometown.
“You don’t want your husband to go, yet at the same time you don’t want to be the one who stops them from doing their job.”
Approaching their first wedding anniversary and only eight weeks pregnant, it was with trepidation that Bree bid Brett farewell to his duties in Afghanistan as a member of the Army’s elite Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. “You don’t want your husband to go [on a deployment], yet at the same time you don’t want to be the one who stops them from doing their job,” says Bree. “All soldiers will tell you they are trained to do their job, and that’s what he wanted to do. All I could do is hope he would return home safely.”
One afternoon Bree received a knock on the door from two defence personnel to tell her the devastating news of Brett’s death. Aged only 31, Sgt Brett Till became a casualty of war when an improvised explosive device he was attempting to render safe had exploded.
“She was also coping alone with the stresses of her advancing pregnancy…”
The following months became an unbearable challenge for grieving Bree. The fact Brett had died overseas caused numerous complications and Bree felt overwhelmed by bureaucracy and paperwork. To compound matters, it looked like she would have to move out of her home in a matter of months. She was also coping alone with the stresses of her advancing pregnancy while looking after Brett’s older children, Jacob and Taleah.
“My dedicated Legatee was there for our family at every milestone.”
Bree was in a desperate predicament when Legacy contacted her to offer help from a dedicated volunteer. Within a matter of days an enormous load was lifted from her.
“My Legatee liaised with the various government departments and assisted me in negotiating an extension to stay in my home, which really helped take the pressure off. I was especially grateful for the support from my dedicated Legatee who was there for our family at every milestone. I also appreciated that Legacy provided me with additional welfare information that I may not have otherwise been aware of.”
“They also get a chance to meet other children who have lost a father, and importantly they meet Legatees who are great role models.”
Legacy provided Bree with financial assistance to help pay for school fees, books and uniforms for Brett’s children. The children were also given a chance to experience the guiding hand they could no longer have from their father, attending camps where they met volunteers who act as mentors.
“The Legacy camps help keep the children grounded yet at the same time make them feel special. They also get a chance to meet other children who have lost a father, and importantly they meet Legatees who are great role models.”
“I have witnessed first-hand the difference Legacy can make in people’s lives.”
The Tills have experienced immense suffering and they are still coping with the severe blow of losing a husband and father. But Legacy has been able to provide encouragement and some measure of security.
“I have witnessed first-hand the difference Legacy can make in people’s lives. To have so many people volunteer their time and effort for people they initially don’t know to this day blows me away. It is inspiring to be reminded there are people like that out there. I am especially grateful for it as these are qualities I want to nurture in my children, and they experience it first hand from Legacy. My Legatee seems to thrive from making a difference in people’s lives; he’s been an amazing person to have in our life.”