Veteran support org extends support services to Afghan security forces
Veteran support not-for-profit Soldier On has expanded the delivery of its support services to include Afghan Security forces and their families, together with those who assisted the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in their development in Afghanistan.
Soldier On is Australia’s only national, fully integrated and holistic support services provider, offering assistance to serving Defence personnel, contemporary veterans and their families.
Currently reaching more than one 5,000 members of the Defence community, Soldier On offers support services including a range of mental health and wellbeing services, employment and transition support and education programs, as well as activities focused on connections with family, friends, and the broader community.
These services will now be made available to members of the Afghan Security forces and those who have played key roles in the ADF’s responses to this conflict, including those who have supported our troops in Afghanistan such as Interpreters.
Soldier On CEO, Ivan Slavich, said the decision to expand the provision of services reflects the need to assist those who have supported the ADF.
“The developments in Afghanistan pose new and resurfacing difficulties for those who have participated in this conflict, and those who still carry the wounds of their service, as well as the families who have been impacted. This is not limited to those who served in the ADF,” Slavich said.
“Many Afghan citizens have acted as key supporters and allies of our Australian forces in Afghanistan. These individuals face many of the challenges that our Australian troops have faced, including mental health difficulties, career uncertainty, and social isolation. As we have done with our Australian troops, we must support our veteran community,” Slavich said.
On August 15, Taliban forces entered and took over Kabul in Afghanistan, co-opting or sending Afghan security forces fleeing in the process. Saying that he wants to avoid bloodshed, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly fled for Uzbekistan, leaving the control of the presidential palace and the country as a whole to the armed group.
The situation has caused panic among the locals, and scenes of crowds flooding Kabul airport trying to get out of the country have gone viral. This, despite the Taliban’s promise to ensure a “peaceful transition” of power in the country.