2019 ANZAC Day | Royal Australian Navy veteran Jason Ey

Busselton resident Jason Ey, pictured with his daughter Sydney, shares his experience of his time in the Royal Australian Navy where he served as a clearance diver for 10 years.
Busselton resident Jason Ey, pictured with his daughter Sydney, shares his experience of his time in the Royal Australian Navy where he served as a clearance diver for 10 years.

ANZAC Day for Royal Australian Navy veteran Jason Ey is a day to be proud of, think about the Australian spirit, a day to be happy and a day of sadness.

Mr Ey was the fourth member of his family to serve as a Navy clearance diver, he joined in 2003 and served for 10 years.

"We had the biggest family representation in the clearance diving branch," he said.

"Clearance diving involves a range of many different things from maritime tactical operations, underwater ship repairs, mine counter measures, wharf and harbour clearances and explosive ordnance disposal."

In 2006, Mr Ey was stationed in Iraq on a seven month deployment during the Iraq War. The conflict began in 2003 and was led by a US coalition to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

"While it was not the nicest time in my life, it was one of the best and most unpleasant at the same time, it was mixed, there were good times and bad times," he said.

When Mr Ey left the Navy after 10 years of service he hit a wall recalling the experiences he had in the Navy and thinking about the bonds he had built with his fellow servicemen.

"You build really strong bonds with people going through those unpleasant times, then you go out into the big wide world and it is a bit different," he said.

"There is quite a lot of help in place for returned servicemen and starting a family was a pretty good distraction."

Mr Ey was recently nominated to become a Legatee for Legacy, an organisation which helps Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent during or after their service.

Legatees act as a mentor and sounding board for widows and their families.

He has also raised money for Legacy and Mates4Mates which supports current and ex-serving defence force members, and their families, who are ill, wounded or injured as a result of their service.

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ANZAC Day can be an emotional time for Australia's veterans and their families, Open Arms Veterans and Families Counselling Service provides free support for current and former Australian Defence Force members and their families 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visiting the Open Arms website.