BEDFORD-Morley RSL president and former air force firefighter Russell Shearing-Jones says the air force is the “way to go” as it offers a “humbling” experience.
Mr Shearing-Jones, of Dianella, joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977 after the Vietnam War and served for 20 years.
The former construction worker was placed at several bases including Williamtown in New South Wales, Amberley in Brisbane and Pearce in Perth.
After leaving the air force in 1993, he stayed in the reserves for four years.
Mr Shearing-Jones said when he joined the air force there were many members who came back from Vietnam.
“When I joined, there were a lot of men that came back from Vietnam with their problems,” he said.
“We used to see a few drinking problems.
“I was involved in quite a few aircraft crashes, rescuing pilots and bushfires, assisting the civilian firefighters with bushfires all around Australia.”
Mr Shearing-Jones said serving air force was a “fantastic career”.
“Any of the military services are a fantastic career and it is an experience in life that you actually have an experience that no one can actually relate to because of the equipment that we use,” he said.
“You are playing with millions of dollars of equipment and things that can kill in seconds… it is a humbling experience.”
Mr Shearing-Jones, who will be heading the RSL’s memorial service on April 25, said the club was losing members, with only three World War II veterans and several Korean and Vietnam veterans remaining.
“(Anzac Day) is the remembrance of people who sacrificed their lives for this country for our freedom,” he said.
“We need that younger blood to keep the clubs going because without the younger blood, we will be struggling because we don’t get any younger.”
The event will be held at the RSL hall, located at corner of Beaufort and Salisbury streets from 2pm.