Original story by Sue Bailey featured in The Mercury Newspaper 24 April 2022 – full story here.
Jason has seen the horror of war but has no regrets about his 16 years with the Australian Army. He joined the Army in 1991 and had active service in Iraq in 2004 and peacekeeping in Bougainville in 2000. For four months he was deployed to Iraq as part of the security detachment for the Australian Embassy and was haunted by the death of a young boy after a bombing.
“He’d been selling soft drink bottles on the corner opposite our building every day. They tried to blow us up at certain times and when there was a car bomb, a VBIED incident, and the young child was killed, the locals actually put a lot of blame on us. Even though we had nothing to do with it, they blamed us because we were there.”
For 10 years he blocked the boy’s death from his mind. “And then it sort of crept its way into the forefront of my consciousness and that’s when, with the encouragement of my wife, I started counselling and I would encourage anyone that does have any issues that they think are going to affect their lives to seek out the support that is available – I’m in a brilliant spot now.”
Jason also sought financial help from the Bravery Trust “I was going through a bit of a difficult patch; I was sort of in a dark space and we had a couple of big bills and other financial things pop up and a friend recommended Bravery Trust.”
Mr Jinks decided to give back to the Trust and volunteered a day a week in administration and revamped the application process.