Tim Braybon has served in the Australian Army for 19 years.
Recognising the importance of routine and exercise for the health and wellbeing of veterans, Tim has joined national military charity Bravery Trust to get more serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) involved in parkrun.
Just in time for Anzac Day, Bravery Trust has launched its own parkrun team called Brave Trekkers – Supporting ADF Veterans.
Tim is encouraging veterans to join the Brave Trekkers parkrun team as a way of making new friendships and reaching out to people who may share similar challenges.
He said it’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness about the support services that exist to support veterans.
“Parkrun is an all-inclusive event–it doesn’t matter how fast you run, or whether you walk – it is about the people you meet and the connections you build,” said Tim.
“Knowing parkrun is held every Saturday, no matter where I travel – it just motivates me to get moving and make exercise a part of my weekend routine.”
Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson said Parkrun was a great way to build new networks and focus on physical and mental wellbeing.
“While most people successfully transition out of the ADF into civilian careers, the journey can be more challenging for those who leave involuntarily,” she said.
“When transition is sudden and unexpected, for example due to medical discharge, it can present more complex challenges – physical, emotional and financial challenges – and can significantly impact families.
“Ill-health and injuries can leave both visible and invisible scars.
“Bravery Trust provides immediate financial aid to veterans injured during service when faced with hardship and we work longer term through education and financially counselling to change people’s lives for the longer term.”
Around 1600 veterans leave the ADF each year involuntarily, for reasons such as medical discharge.
“Financial challenges can be difficult for people to talk about. We understand it can be overwhelming to reach out and ask for help.
“In more than 65% of cases, we see veterans wait five years or more after transitioning from the ADF to reach out for financial assistance. During this time, problems can spiral and financial debt grows.
“We encourage current and ex-serving members of the ADF to contact us early, and have an early conversation.
Bravery Trust is an independent charity and while we have an in-depth knowledge of the ADF and Defence support services, we provide a free, independent and confidential service.
To join the Brave Trekkers go to Brave Trekkers – supporting ADF veterans | parkrun Australia and select “join this group” – then register on the Bravery Trust site parkrun – Bravery Trust