To support and create positive, long term, and measurable impact on the lives of all current and future Veterans, and the people around us, throughout the conduct of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
The VSF Story
Since 2001 we have lost more Veterans to suicide than we lost in combat during the entire Vietnam War. Many more have contemplated suicide and even more continue to struggle with ongoing mental health decline brought about by failed support systems during transition and after service. This crisis affects Veterans and families of all generations.
From our community.
"I am 57, served 20 years in the Army and suffer PTSD and other mental health issues as a result of that service. I need you to know that after all these years, you are inspiring me through your strength, your integrity and your courage. In recent weeks, I wondered what it would be like to take my own life for the first time as I stood at the station waiting for my train. I got on that train, and as I was reading my news on my phone I came across your press conference, and more. I cannot thank you enough. When I got home I hugged my wife as I had never hugged her before. What you are doing is so important, for all of us. Thank you."
"Mate I doubt you'll see this but you're an inspiration. I served 11 years in both the navy and army. I've hit the hard time of discharge the 18-24 month mark which I describe as the end of a posting cycle in which I've found myself wondering what's next. Found you on Instagram and the like. Someone from your position and stature within our community touching on things like sexuality, suicide and the trouble with transition has all resonated with me. Thank you so much for everything. I lost a few mates last year to suicide, close mates that I deployed with and served with. You have done more for vets having discharged than defence ever have."
"I've been listening to Heston Russell's podcast on Voice of a Veteran. It's been really emotional listening to it, because since I got out I've been like a lost soul, struggling with losing my identity. To hear Heston speak so candidly and honestly about how he has been feeling, thinking and acting through his transition out of Defence hits so hard. That's exactly how I've been. That podcast has helped me so much. It's also helped my wife understand what's going on inside me."
"You lads continue to hit the nail on the head with every topic you speak on. Keep up the good work. I hope our politicians & leaders in society, within defence, public & private sectors are forced to listen to these podcasts, they could learn a lot..."
"Recently I discovered your page and podcast. Thank you - Know that you are helping to give many struggling young Veterans a voice, value and purpose back in the world. On a personal note; Like you and many others, I have struggled with suicide and depression and your content is helping me as I learn to grow from my experiences."
"Hey brother, just listened to your podcast with Sam, mate this is raw and you are valued, and you are truly amazing and a beautiful soul, and you are a true leader and an inspiration. Nothing but love for you mate nothing but the up most respect for you brother you are the voice for change you actually made me cry mate in the way you spoke about not feeling like having a purpose. I have been there and it just says how much mental health is so important just keep being you brother."
"I love what you're up to, and how you bring your best to serve your/our community.
You make me braver - and countless more I'm sure. Thank you for your service Keep up the great work. You make a bigger difference than you know."
"I know I have said thank you to you more than once for doing everything that you have done and are continuing to do for Veterans here in Australia, but I have to say it one more time "thank you".
For me, see you fighting for Veterans on multiple platforms and having your podcast, listening to you, and Scott and all your guest speakers has really helped myself personally, as it instantly helps me think clearer, and feel better, and makes me feel proud again and definitely changes my way of thinking about myself."
"Thank you Heston and Scott! After a very sluggish morning dragging myself up to get the children out the door to school, I listened to your podcast! switched on some motivational tunes and am dancing my way through the house work! Baby steps I know, but progress!
You guys rock and make so much sense to my battered Veteran brain."
"Good evening Heston and Sam,
I just wanted to firstly say that I'm really engaging and loving what the both of you are doing on the podcast! The honesty from you Heston is refreshing, uplifting and inspiring. Sam you do a brilliant job of "feeling the room" and that shows in your questions and insights.
So thank you both for your tremendous efforts in time, money and emotions!"
"Hey mate, I've felt the need to get in touch with you and commend the work you are doing through Voice of a Veteran ever since I started listening last week. You and Scotty are doing a great job, you have both had such an influence on the way I conduct myself and approach each day. I have always been very much interested in special forces and the professional training you receive. I am a very career focused individual and I am always working on my personal and professional development and your conversations are so relatable and they have had such a huge impact on my perspective and the way I go about my day to day. My role as an electrical trainer and assessor has me speaking publicly week in week out to classes of 15 guys, mentoring and problem solving with them."
I’m telling you this because when I started the first day of a new class today, I've never felt more in control and confident and I attribute that back to you guys so I want to thank you. Solidifying my purpose mate."