Veteran Bob Mahaffey makes life easier

Bob Mahaffey helps returned soldiers deal with their experiences. Picture: DAVID THORPE
Bob Mahaffey helps returned soldiers deal with their experiences. Picture: DAVID THORPE

Vietnam War veteran Bob Mahaffey is helping soldiers overcome the horrors of war.

Order of Australia Medal recipient Mr Mahaffey volunteers his time with Albury Legacy.

The organisation helps veterans suffering from issues including Post Trau- matic Stress Disorder and looks after the families of those who have died.

He said while the work could be challenging, it had positive outcomes.

“It can be quite emotional at times,” he said.

“You sit down and some of the ladies that come to see you have some pretty horrendous problems.

“Often at times the kids who have lost their fat-hers, especially if they’re in their early teens, go a little bit off the rails.

“Legacy can help them sort things out and we organise activities for children from similar circumstances to put them back on their feet.

“The kids really develop a good support network among themselves.”

There are four or five Afghanistan war veterans in the region, Mr Mahaffey said, who were still too affected by their service to talk openly about it.

“There are about 870 war widows in Albury and we have 23 children on our books,” he said.

“Australia is the only country that has an org-anisation like Legacy in the world.

“It gives the servicemen who are deployed overseas a little bit of confidence and satisfaction that if the worst happens to them, there’s someone to look after their family.”

Mr Mahaffey has been involved with Albury Legacy since 1995 after helping at Lismore Legacy.

He has also supported the Mercy Hospital, Alb-ury Tennis Association, several Lions clubs, and been a member of St Matthew’s Anglican Church for more than 25 years.

“I’m certainly not the only Legatee,” he said.

“I think they all deserve some type of appreciation because it does take a special sort of person.

“It’s an honour to be nominated and it’s an honour to receive the Order of Australia award.

“But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without a lot of assistance along the way.”