Kerry's Way Of Combating The Demons Of War

< BACK TO INTERNATIONAL starstarstarstarstar   Culture - International Press Release
18th October 2010, 04:04pm - Views: 617

Misc Miscellaneous Red Dune Films 2 image

Media Release

18 October 2010


When a new kindergarten is officially opened tomorrow, Vietnam veteran Kerry Phelan will

put another nail in the coffin of the demons that have wracked him for more than 40 years.

Phelan, who drove vehicles in and around battle zones during a year long stint in Vietnam in

the late 1960s, has spent the last decade leading humanitarian projects on behalf of the

communities riven by the War.

Raising funds and inspiring  the support of other former Diggers and public volunteers has

given him great joy as well as provided a type of personal therapy that medical expertise has

not been able to.

The refurbished kindergarten for 50 pre-school children - located at Nui Dat, the site of the

Australian military base throughout the War - has been three years in the making, and adds

to facilities and services provided by the Australia Vietnam Volunteers Resource Group

(AVVRG) over the past 19 years.

Phelan, the President of the NSW chapter of the group, made up of ex-soldiers and people

from the business sector, generated $55,000 in donations to complete the project.

The Australian Consul-General to Vietnam, Mr Graeme Swift, will conduct the formal

commissioning ceremony, involving community leaders, teachers, parents, pre-schoolers

and committee members of the project team.

Also present will be more than 30 members of an Australian tour group led by Dave Sabben

MG, one of the seven key Commanders at the historic Battle of Long Tan.

The new facility includes extensions and renovations to the original class rooms built in

2002, including a new long day care centre, kitchen, dining and activity rooms, washrooms

and staff rooms.

“The mental demons of war are never very far away, as is the case for many other veterans,

but being associated with projects for good is one way of dealing with them,” comments

Kerry, from Junee, NSW.

“Making a small difference for communities affected by the conflict is uplifting on the one

hand but also a means of nailing the distress that I still feel all these years later.

“Seeing the new kindy up and running will be a terrific result  for the many people involved in

making it happen, but none more happier than me.”

The Nui Dat precinct was the base to 5,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers at any

given time during the War.

Media Contact Graham Cassidy, Cato Counsel, 0419 202317       AVVRG NSW Nui Dat Team Contact: 0418 245 687

news articles logo NEWS ARTICLES
Contact News Articles |Remove this article