Increasingly, Australia’s military engagements are being fought by the few, with many ADF personnel putting themselves in harm’s way on multiple operational deployments. Australians have had differing views about our military involvement in Afghanistan, but they have stood behind the young Australians undertaking that fight. While most of our forces are now home from Afghanistan, some will remain there for the foreseeable future to assist the Afghanistan National Army in building its war-fighting capability.

The war has not ended for our wounded, whose recovery and rehabilitation in many cases will be ongoing. Their families have earned the support of the Australian community. Our community has shown concern for our wounded from the Afghanistan conflict and for their families, as well as the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Wandering Warriors share that community concern.

Since Operation SLIPPER commenced, there have been 40 operational deaths in Afghanistan. To date, there have been 261 ADF members wounded in action in Afghanistan.

The types of injuries sustained can be broadly categorised as:

  • Amputations
  • Fractures
  • Gun shot wounds
  • Hearing loss
  • Lacerations/contusions
  • Concussion/traumatic brain injury
  • Penetrating fragments
  • Multiple severe injuries

There are no solid statistics on those young veterans who are returning to Australia suffering psychological trauma. However, it is widely reported that there will be an increasing number of ADF veterans who will face a range of physical and psychological issues after the last few years, which have seen a high operational tempo for our forces.