Topics:  combine war veteran community group, soldier, solomon islands, warwick

Gifts from home make it worthwhile

Former soldier Johno Felton, Private Toby Willett and Veteran Support and Advocacy Service Australia member Ray Wingett.
Former soldier Johno Felton, Private Toby Willett and Veteran Support and Advocacy Service Australia member Ray Wingett. Georja Ryan

TIM Tams and Christmas cards were warm reminders of home for Private Toby Willett as he served his country in the Solomon Islands.

For more than four months, the 21-year-old Warwick soldier battled the harsh terrain of army life and said receiving a care package was like a hug of support.

Care packages which included toiletries, treats and Christmas cards from Warwick school children were sent over to soldiers to show their support and encouragement for the brave men and women fighting overseas.

The packages were thanks to the Combine War Veteran Community Group.

"It was really good (getting a package) and I wasn't expecting it," Private Willett said.

"Everyone loves the Tim Tams and it's all just a touch of home while you're over there."

Private Willett, former soldier Johno Felton and Veteran Support and Advocacy Service Australia member Ray Wingett were set up near the escalators at Rose City Shoppingworld yesterday collecting donations for the packages so more care packages can be sent over in September.

They will be back at the centre collecting donations all day Saturday from 8am and a trailer of firewood will be raffled off.

Private Willett said the hardest thing about serving overseas was being away from home and he encouraged everyone to get behind them to help deliver a small slice of home to soldiers in the Solomon Islands, Afghanistan and East Timor.

The highlight of his time away was sailing over on the very ship on which his grandfather served back in the Second World War, the HMAS Canberra.

Private Willett returned home in April and is working on his father's farm in Glengallan.



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