Sunday, 28 December 2008

Released on behalf of Minister for Veterans' Affairs - Media Release VA127

General Peter Cosgrove has joined the campaign to encourage Vietnam-era service families to register for a study to research the long-term effects of war service on families and children. General Cosgrove, one of Australia’s most respected soldiers and a Vietnam veteran, is supporting the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study which is currently recruiting participants.

“Invitations to participate in the study were sent to randomly selected Vietnam-era army personnel – 10,000 each of those who served in Vietnam and those who didn’t,” Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Alan Griffin said. General Cosgrove was one of those Vietnam veterans who was randomly selected to participate in the study, and I was pleased to hear that he, his wife and his family have signed up."

“The nation is grateful for the contribution of Australian servicemen and women during the Vietnam war. But we are asking for help once again, especially from those Army personnel who served at the time, but not in Vietnam, as they provide a very important comparison to those who did serve in Vietnam,” Mr Griffin said.

A letter from General Cosgrove has been sent to all participants who have not yet responded to their original invitation, encouraging his former colleagues to register for the study.

General Cosgrove wrote, “I am asking for you and your family to participate in the program. Your contribution will help shape approaches and policies which will not only aid those in need from that era but many thousands of young men and women in uniform and their families in the future.”

The preferred recruitment target is around 5000 each of the randomly selected Vietnam veterans and Vietnam-era service personnel, and 5000 of each group’s children. This will allow the study to provide many comparisons, including more rare medical conditions.

To date 2200 Vietnam veterans have responded, but only 1200 of those who didn’t serve in Vietnam.

“If you served in the Army during the Vietnam war, even if you didn’t go to Vietnam, you can help. Talk to your mates and encourage those invited to participate, and encourage their families to participate as well,” General Cosgrove said.

You can register by calling 1800 502 302, on-line at or by mailing in a completed registration form. Copies are available on-line, photocopies are acceptable.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 011 046.

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