This year at the Lane Cove Remembrance Day Ceremony, Chris Butcher spoke about being a parent of sons serving in the Australian Armed Forces. Chris and Melinda Butcher have lived in Lane Cove for 33 years and Chris gave a moving speech at the Remembrance Day Ceremony about what it’s like to have two sons both currently serving Australia in the Armed Forces. The Remembrance Day Ceremony is held on a working day so fewer people attend the ceremony than the ANZAC Day ceremony. ITC asked Chris for a copy of his speech so that more people could hear the Butcher Family story.
My names is Chris Butcher and I am here on behalf on my wife Melinda and my two sons Tim and Phil.
I have been asked to say a few words about what it is like as a Parent to have two boys serving in the army. Both boys are in Infantry. Tim is 27 and Phil is 25.
Melinda and I have lived in Lane Cove for 33 years and the boys both went to school and St Michaels and then to St Ignatius College Riverview. Tim finished school in 2006 and Phil in 2008.
Tim went to Duntroon Military College in 2007 and graduated as a Lieutenant in 2009. He was then transferred to Darwin. In 2010, at the age of 21 he deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months in charge of a platoon of about 60 men. He was stationed at an outpost in the Chora Valley within Oruzgan Province, well as away from the international command base at Tarin Kowt.
This 9 month period was a harrowing time for us as parents because there was a number of young men killed in action or seriously wounded. Obviously, we were very happy when Tim returned safely.
Since then Tim has returned to Afghanistan twice and both were to undertake reconnaissance missions.
Tim will deploy in December to Israel in a peacekeeping role with the United Nations.
If I was to ask either of the boys why they have chosen the military as a career they would most likely answer:
- It’s an ADVENTURE. We get to go out bush and sleep under the stars and do all sort of things that you would probably be “locked up” for in town.
- It’s CHALLENGING….mentally, physically and emotionally
- It’s MEANINGFUL. My actions and my decisions are important and the consequences can be severe.
- The FRIENDSHIPS/COMRADERIE
I can tell you that our boys are extremely well trained and as parents, this gives us a lot of relief.
I can also tell you that our Soldiers are trained to CARE, not just for their comrades but also for the people that they must interact with. The Australian Army does pursue a policy to win the “Hearts and Minds” of those people whose countries we attend. As PARENTS this is very important to us.
Melinda and I are so proud of both our boys and we are also very proud of all the men and women that have served or are currently serving in our armed forces.
Thanks to Tim and Melinda for allowing ITC to publish their Remembrance Day Speech. ITC can only imagine how hard it is to have two sons in the armed forces that could be deployed at any time.
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