YOUR STORY: A tribute to my brother, killed in an accident
I wrote the lyrics for the song "You'll Always be my Hero" as a dedication to my eldest brother Paul who served as an 18 year old volunteer in the Australian Army in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968.
I also wanted the song to be reminder to all those who served their country or who have lost loved ones during times of war.
The eldest of six children, Paul was a much loved member of our family.
At the time we lived in a rented housing commission home in Inala, Brisbane and as my father was an invalid pensioner from a young age, Paul would send most of his wages home from Vietnam to support us.
I wrote the lyrics for this song to express the idea that family members can still feel the grief and loss of a loved one many years after their passing, and that time doesn't always heal everything.
I am very proud of this song and hope that all people can identify with its theme of losing someone close to you at a very young age.
After returning from Vietnam, Paul like a lot of young men who had served in the forces, found it difficult to settle down so decided to rejoin the services in 1971, this time in the Air Force.
Unfortunately Paul was killed in a car accident while training in Adelaide, just six weeks prior to his 23rd birthday.
Coincidentally Paul died on his wife's birthday so it was a very difficult time for all the family.
Paul and his wife had a daughter Diane who was just one and a half at the time of his death.
Diane now resides in Sydney and recently qualified as a Barrister.
I have always loved music and enjoyed writing lyrics for over 40 years.
However it was only recently that I arranged to get some of my lyrics put to music.
In 2014 I sent the song lyrics to Paramount Studios in Nashville and was ecstatic with the beautiful sombre tune and arrangement put to my words.
The song also featured on a Paramount Studios CD called to "Catch a Rising Star" which features the best demos for new songwriters.
This song is now included on an album with some of my other songs recorded by different Nashville artists, called Life in Paradise and is available for purchase through iTunes and Amazon.
Last year I engaged a local freelance video producer on the Gold Coast to make a video of the song too.
* Prior to moving to the Gold Coast in 2013, Gary worked as the community relations officer at NRG Gladstone Power Station for 27 years. He also had a part time wedding photography business in Gladstone for 10 years.