I REFER to the letter “What a waste of funds” (The National, April 16).
Is the writer aware that the majority of the 100 soldiers that pass out each year and many other soldiers are posted to forward operating bases in the country to patrol the PNG border?
Is the writer also aware that along the border, there are rural communities who suffer from dreaded diseases such as elephantiasis, malaria, etc, because the Government has forgotten them?
These “soldiers”, with little or no funds from the Government, and with help and support from the Australian defence force, provide health services to these helpless people.
Our soldiers, whether at the barracks or posted out, always assist the surrounding communities and will always be there in times of natural disaster; they don’t just “eat and guard the barracks like security guards”.
Well, at the moment there is no war and we should be thankful for that.
But our soldiers are defending and protecting our border.
So please do not classify them as security guards.
To all soldiers at forward operating bases and barracks around the country, you deserve to be fed and you all have my respect.