Vet turns body art into memorial
houette of a soldier climbing a hill.
The soldier is taken from a picture Mr New drew in hospital, symbolising the soldier’s ‘uphill struggle’.
Under this is a memorial to Mr New’s fellow soldier Corporal Ashley Birt, a member of Combined Team Uruzgan who was killed in action in October 2011 at Sorkh Bed, the legend “Lest We Forget” and a picture of his memorial in Afghanistan.
The main picture depicts Corporal Birt’s ramp ceremony, as his coffin was taken on board the plane to bring him home.
Under the picture are the words “Only those who made the ultimate sacrifice see the end of war” set around the image of a camera.
The camera tells us that Mr New’s job in the army was in media, a job which resulted in his breakdown when he realised the appalling repercussions of the publication of his photographs.
Mr New plans to fill the small section of forearm he has left with poppies.
He says that the whole design is a memorial to his army career, and to the soldiers who were lost.
“In that I include the men and women we have lost and are still losing through suicide, as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder from their experiences in Afghanistan,” he said.
Mr New hopes to be marching in the Anzac Day parade in Mt Beauty, but is not sure he will make it as he is due for electro-convulsive therapy treatment the day before.
“I spent 26 weeks in hospital last year, and the ECT is what relieves the depression and makes it possible for me to live,” he said.
Mr New came to settle in the Upper Kiewa shortly after being medically discharged from the army with severe PTSD, and has kept busy working for disabled veterans like himself.
Having achieved his earlier goal of fundraising to provide companion dogs for veterans with PTSD, he is now working with the Albury / Wodonga Veterans support group, raising money for veterans and their families living in north east Victoria.
MEMORIAL: Josh’s right arm carries memories of his experiences in Afghanistan.