Private Wayne Trim and Johnno Felton with some of the goodies in a soldier’s daily rations pack.
Private Wayne Trim and Johnno Felton with some of the goodies in a soldier’s daily rations pack. Kerri Burns-Taylor

Raising money for Aussie troops

CHRISTMAS may still be four months away but the quest to raise money to prepare festive packages for the soldiers who will spend it away from home has begun.

Private Wayne Trim, Johnno Felton and a number of volunteers manned a stall outside Bunnings on Saturday to get fundraising under way.

Volunteers served up a sausage sizzle and passersby were also able to purchase I Support The Troops merchandise.

Mr Felton said the annual fundraiser was a great way to get behind the troops.

Last year the soldiers – and their canine counterparts – appreciated receiving a large number of touching Christmas cards from local schoolkids who wanted to show their appreciation and wish them a Merry Christmas.

“We do it over the year and we have the schools doing the Christmas cards for the soldiers again this year,” Mr Felton said.

“The kids really love making the cards for the dogs.”

Mr Felton said the contents of the packages were a little different today to what he remembered.

“In our war we'd get Jatz biscuits and cheddar cheese but now the guys get their specialised coffee,” he said.

Pte Trim said the packages and especially the Christmas cards were important to boosting the morale of the soldiers who put their lives on the line while serving their country.

“It really shows that you're doing it for the people at home and they appreciate it,” he said.

A young boy with aspirations of becoming a soldier got his first taste of the career on Saturday, with Mr Felton and Pte Trim organising a package containing one day of a soldier's food supplies.

Tucked away in a compact package was an abundance of tasty delights including meals of Italian chicken and barbecue beef, tuna, tinned fruit, chocolate, cheese, PK gum, coffee, condensed milk and energy drinks.

Mr Felton joked he was contemplating re-joining the army so he could indulge in the food the soldiers were allocated each day.

Soldiers quickly learn how to whip up a gourmet meal with their supplies and add creative touches to their food, often trading their goods with fellow soldiers.

Pte Trim said tinned fruit and chocolate were often valuable commodities.

Nutritionist Mele Malolo was also on hand to provide an alternative to the sausage sizzle, with her delicious bush stir fry and tasty fruit salad.


Care Packages

  • A number of local organisations are beginning to put together Christmas packages for the Australian soldiers.
  • Packages will include food items such as biscuits, coffee, tuna and personal items such as deodorant, shaving cream, Chap Sticks and razors.
  • Local schools will be invited to send Christmas cards crafted by young students to show their appreciation.

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