Friday, 9 January 2009

Today I came across perhaps one of the most horrific cases of neglect of a Veteran who has slipped through the cracks of all Ex Service Organizations, DVA and of his mates whom he served with.  Michael was born on 27 May 1968 and served with we believe, 1 Platoon Charlie Coy 1 RAR in Somalia.

Michael lives in a geriatric nursing home in Herston Brisbane, which his carer calls a hell hole, his life is in the control of the Adult Guardian, and the Public Trustee looks after his finances for the rest of his life. He virtually has no one in his life except for his carer, an exceptional Scottish elderly man. How this has happened is unbelievable. I am trying to ascertain members who may have served with Michael, contacts that is, so I can obtain information regards to Michael's service in Somalia.

Michael has Huntington's Disease and it is extremely difficult for him to communicate and so if I can find someone who served with him to talk too, I can help Michael make the relevant claims to the Dept of Veterans' Affairs. Michael has a 15 year old daughter who I have spoken to as well and is also desperate to find help for her father.

He can receive messages but his brain cannot transmit information back and that is the nature of the disease I believe. His carer who brought Michael to see us in an off chance that we may be able to help, is Michael's life line for communication. This is a terrible case for a young man of 40 years old, who has also served in East Timor.

My request. I would like to be able to contact any members of Charlie Company 1 RAR who served in Somalia to gather more information that can support Michael 'Cookie' Cook.

Thank you in anticipation, any help or suggestion would be gratefully received.

Greg Russell
Tel No (07) 38558078