Vet turns body art into me­mo­rial

Alpine Observer - - Front Page -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.