Still serving his nation
THE welfare of former service personnel is what drives ex-Commander Richard Usher.
The Defence Force Welfare Association president, of Shoalwater, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the welfare of veterans.
“I was very surprised; I have absolutely no idea who nominated me and I’ll give them a ‘what for’ when I do find out,” Mr Usher said.
“I’m ex-navy and I was always told loyalty goes both ways, up and down. There are so many others who deserve recognition.”
The biggest group he currently helps are expersonnel who served in the Middle East and Vietnam.
“Some of these were involved with F-11s and the fuelling issues those jets had,” he said.
“It’s left a chemical legacy affecting many and we help them put claims in to the Department of Veteran Affairs.”
Mr Usher said one case stood out among the many he had worked on.
“There was an exarmy man who was putting himself through a law degree at university,” he said.
“His wife had just had her second baby in the last semester of his degree and there was no money coming in.
“They were finding things really difficult and he was about to leave his study.
“We got him a grant and paid his mortgage for two months and he was able to complete his degree.
“He is now working as a lawyer.”
He said his focus of late had been working with Whiskey’s Wish, a group that trains puppies to be assistance dogs for personnel with post-traumatic stress.
Richard Usher is very happy to be recognised.