RSL Sub branch sending love to troops serving across globe
KNOWING loved ones are on the other side of the world putting their lives on the line is a horrible feeling Rachel Scott-Dooley knows all too well.
The Redbank Plains RSL Sub Branch assistant secretary comes from a proud military clan and has become used to friends and family being shipped off to serve around the globe.
Her cousin was only 19 when he was killed in Afghanistan five years ago, having only just finished his basic training.
The sub branch has sent care packages to troops overseas since 2015, shipping boxes of goodies in November to arrive in time for Christmas.
They are sent to places like Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and the Solomon Islands and don't just reach Aussie troops, but those from the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Items are also sent over for explosive dogs as well.
"It's showing them we are thinking about them and we do miss them," Mrs Scott-Dooley said.
"They're obviously in a high danger situation and with minimal contact, it is a daily challenge to make sure they're okay.
"Currently we have two (family members overseas) at the moment. We've had lots come back home recently. We probably have another lot going out in the next run of deployment but it's hard to say because they get told at a drop of a hat."
The sub branch tries to send about 300 care packages every year but want to get well beyond 500 and are calling on the community to get involved.
Mrs Scott-Dooley said Tim Tams were always a favourite and Vegemite was a key addition, even if many American troops didn't quite understand the hype.
"They fight over (the Tim Tams)," she laughed.
"We try to put at least one packet in each box so they're not fighting over it or anything with chocolate really. Generally a lot of lollies as well because it does cost them a fortune over there for those kinds of things.
"They do get supplies over there but it's at cost to them. If we can make it a little bit easier for them we will because it's quite expensive. A chocolate bar can be $6 for them over there, compared to 90c over here."
She said her cousin and best friend had recently returned from serving in Afghanistan.
"They're not right," she said.
"You can tell there's trauma there.
"We try and make sure they have a Christmas over there because they are away from their family."
Visit the sub branch's Facebook page for a full list of items to donate and to get in contact to do so.
The cut-off date to donate is from the start of November.
Sub branch wants a permanent home
THE Redbank Plains RSL Sub Branch has been running since 1984 but has never had a permanent place to call home.
The sub branch runs out of the home of president Florence and secretary Steve Scott.
Assistant secretary Rachel Scott-Dooley said the group was seeking somewhere to call their own.
"We've had little club rooms in the past but we've always had to hire them," she said.
"We want a place to call home so we can set up. We've got a couple thousand dollars worth of memorabilia that we would like to show to the public but we can't at this point in time because we've got nowhere to display it."
The sub branch is aiming to fundraise between $30,000-$40,0000 to fund a premises.
"We are hoping the community will back us to get the clubhouse going," she said.
"(With that money) then we could possibly apply for a grant for the rest or council may come to the party with support.
"We've been working with the council for many years about it, but getting nowhere.
"We've always moved from place to place. It would be great just so people will recognise we are a club. We find it hard because we don't have a clubhouse. We want people to be able to view everything we've got."