YOUR cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.
You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.
He’s told he will be held over an extra two months.
You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do every day.
He holds his letter close and smells his love’s perfume.
You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they’ll ever meet.
You criticise your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.
You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.
You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.
You are asked to do something by your parents.
He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.
You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.
You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.
The reality is that war is happening and has happened.
Right now our country’s brave troops fight to protect the ideals that Australians hold dear.
They fight in other countries to help improve the lives of people in other nations.
If our soldiers had not gone to Gallipoli would our beautiful, free country be what it is today?
Men as young as 17 gave their life for many reasons.
One of the major reasons was a sense of nationalism, the belief that one’s country is the greatest on earth. Australia, it’s more than just a word. Thousands of brave and selfless young men laid down their lives to defend what Australia was to become.
This word, this country has flourished on the spirit our Anzac soldiers showed. We as Australians have the traits of leadership, mateship and courage, all of which the Anzacs demonstrated.
We as Australians have many freedoms that other governments don’t afford their own people, simple rights such as the right to speak out or walk down the street safe, from harassment resulting from your religious or political views.
Without the Anzacs’ gallant efforts 96 years ago Australians now could face a very different Australia. Who knows what would have happened if our ships did not land on those shores, but next time you walk down the street be grateful you don’t see our armed forces guarding shops with loaded guns, be grateful we can cross the borders of our fellow states and be grateful that everything around you was helped to be gained by the Anzacs.
I, as a 17-year-old Australian don’t personally have any relationship to any diggers or veterans from Gallipoli, but I know I have their spirit inside of me, I know I have the traits of an Australian, the traits that were best established by Anzacs, so all I can say is thank you. Thank you to the Anzacs for earning our freedom, and thank you to our current Australian soldiers for keeping our freedom.
Not a day goes by that your bravery and sacrifice doesn’t mean the world to someone living in our beautiful country.