Remember the fallen, support the living

Brad Copelin with daughters, Nardia, 13, and Livia, 9.

Brad Copelin with daughters, Nardia, 13, and Livia, 9.

Afghanistan veteran Brad Copelin, 49, has a special message for those attending Remembrance Day services this year.

"Remember the fallen and support the living," he said.

Mr Copelin is an ambassador for RSL DefenceCare which assists Australian veterans and their families in times of illness, injury and crisis.

The organisation also helps servicemen and women who are needing support in transitioning from serving into civilian life.

Mr Copelin enlisted into the Australian Army in 1987 as an infantryman and transferred to the Military Police in 1992. In late 2005, he was promoted to Warrant Officer until his forced medical retirement due to physical and mental health reasons in 2011 at the age of 41.

He served for a total of 24 years including in the Solomon Islands in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2005.

Mr Copelin is now playing "Mr Mum" to his daughters, Nardia, 13, and Livia, 9.

He said transitioning back into civilian life was a challenge and acknowledges he suffers from PTSD and speaks freely of the impact it has had on his children.

With his daughters he now visits different schools to express how his mental illness has affected his family.

Nardia also speaks at these talks about the subject.

"My two girls know more about PTSD and veteran health than anyone their age should," Mr Copelin said.

"I thought if I was out in public speaking about my experiences and it helped one veteran then it was worth it.

"I want people to remember that there are younger veterans out there. I have met veterans in their 20s who are suffering from blast injuries, amputations or mental health issues.

"Some guys in their early 20s have been multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan."

Mr Copelin has competed in the Invictus Games in London and has started Learning and Development Solutions which carries out prior learning assessments for military members.

He will be the MC at the Remembrance Day service at Westfield Miranda today 11am.

His daughter, Nardia will be giving the Commemorative Address and Livia will be reading the Epitaph.

RSL DefenceCare has launched the 2019 Poppy Appeal with funds raised assisting Australian veterans and their families including providing emergency financial and housing assistance and counselling.