From: Avril Clark
Sent: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 9:28 AM

Email from mother of PTE Jamie Clark

It was over seven years ago that my son Jamie died while on a peacekeeping mission in the Solomons. For all those years I’ve been trying to get equal recognition for him on the Australian War Memorial.

It’s been hard. For a long time it felt like no one was listening, that I was all alone in this battle and that no one cared about his sacrifice.

But for the first time ever, it feels like the War Memorial Council might be starting to listen.

More than 7,000 people from around Australia have signed my Change.org petition -- and there have been so many messages of support from military families, politicians and the media.

But if there’s anything I’ve learned over the last seven years, it’s that it won’t be easy to make the Council act. Can you help me keep them under pressure and share the petition on Facebook?

I’ve talked about Jamie’s story and my campaign in media from the ABC to Perth Now. It’s been hard to re-live everything -- I broke down on national radio talking about the moments leading up to his death, and it was really difficult to hold it together and keep going.

Now I just feel angry that I should even have to do this. But I’m more determined than ever to make the War Memorial Council listen.

With all the support and media coverage, I think we have a real chance of getting justice for Jamie and the 47 other soldiers who have lost their lives peacekeeping. There are countless Australians saying it’s just not good enough for soldiers like my son to go unrecognised and unvalued.

Will you help me show the War Memorial Council this isn’t going away?

This is such an outdated, unfair rule, and the only reason it’s lasted this long is that people didn’t realise peacekeepers were getting second-rate recognition. That’s why I know that we can make the War Memorial Council change its mind.

Thanks for all your support,

Avril


FOOTNOTE from APPVA National.

This is for those 48 who have died on Non-warlike service Peacekeeping Operations since 1953 (UN Korean Military Armistice Commission) onward.

PTE Jamie Clark died on patrol in the Solomon Islands, whilst searching for weapons cache in 2005. He was a soldier from 3 RAR. His name does not appear on the AWM Roll of Honour, instead it is in a “Book of Remembrance” located in a locked glass cabinet in an obscure location in the AWM. This is totally unsatisfactory and degrades the memory of those 48 ADF members who have died, in the service of International Peace, Security and Stability.

Please sign the petition and let others know.