Call for new memorial at Anzac Park. Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Kevin Humpreys with Glenn Fazel. Picture: Evan Morgan
Call for new memorial at Anzac Park. Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Kevin Humpreys with Glenn Fazel. Picture: Evan Morgan

A memorial to ensure we don’t forget the war within

Army pilot Captain Steven Fazel took his own life a week before Christmas last year. Now his friend wants to ensure his memory and that of other veterans who lost the battle within are remembered.

Operation Cor Infinitus (Infinite Courage) was founded by Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Humphreys (retired), who is leading the push to establish a memorial at Anzac Park honouring those who served and died by suicide.

"I almost went down the road of suicide in 2008 when I was still serving," he said. "The intention behind­ Cor Infinitus is not to glorify suicide … it is to offer dignity and respect to those who have served and taken their lives, and more importantly to their families that are left behind."

Call for new memorial at Anzac Park. Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Kevin Humpreys want a new memorial called Cor Infinitus. Picture: Evan Morgan
Call for new memorial at Anzac Park. Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Kevin Humpreys want a new memorial called Cor Infinitus. Picture: Evan Morgan

The memorial will read: "You are not alone, we see you and we're here with you."

Fazel's brother Glenn said the talented pilot, who died in his 40s after struggling with mental health issue­s, lacked purpose and drive after leaving the Australian Defence Force. "We need to have the courage for the returning servicepeople and the community­ to have the courage to get in there and offer the help to support them," Mr Fazel said.

Mayor Jenny Hill said a number of positions for the memorial - including the cenotaph, Anzac Way and the Wall of Remembrance - were being considered.

"There's a whole discussion that needs to be had around the community about how we deal with this," Ms Hill said.

Steven Fazel, 49, a former captain who served as a pilot for the Army, including in East Timor and Afghanistan, took his life in December.
Steven Fazel, 49, a former captain who served as a pilot for the Army, including in East Timor and Afghanistan, took his life in December.

"The trauma for families left behind, it's just incomprehensibl­e."

Ms Hill said more than 13 per cent of the Townsville community identified as being current serving members or ex-military.

Federal MP for Herbert Phillip Thompson said he expected the memorial to be adopted around the nation­. "There's too many of our sons, daughters, fathers­, mothers who have died," he said.

"This here will be a forever reminder of the sacri­fices of our brave men and women who have come back and lost the battle to the war within.

"This is a price of war, this is what happens here throughout our country."

The memorial is expected to be unveiled on World Suicide Day, September 10. Families can submit their feedback about the memorial by contacting assistance@corinfinitus.org by July 30.

 

>>For help call Open Arms on 1800 011 046.

Originally published as A memorial to ensure we don't forget the war within



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