Cowboys player shows his support
24 / 04 / 2020
There are two things that the Townsville community is especially proud of. One, that we’re a vibrant garrison city with a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force; and two, our beloved North Queensland Cowboys.
In the spirit of Anzac Day this weekend, we took some time to have a chat with Cowboys player Josh McGuire, who has a family connection to the defence force, to talk about the ANZAC spirit and how he’s going to be marking a very different Anzac Day in 2020.
WHAT DOES ANZAC DAY MEAN TO YOU?
I think a lot of people today including the younger generation have an idea on what Anzac Day represents, but without a strong military connection it may be harder to really understand.
My dad was in the Army so for me, Anzac Day’s been about doing what my dad has always done which is to follow the tradition of the day. It was always a celebration for us growing up and a really good opportunity to remember Dad’s friends that he made during different conflicts. It is also quite an emotional day for our family.
OBVIOUSLY ANZAC DAY IN 2020 IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT TO WHAT WE’RE ALL USED TO. HOW ARE YOU FEELING ABOUT IT?
Nothing really changes for me. I’m still very proud and very appreciative and thankful just to be in the situation I’m in, considering what our forces do and have done in different areas of the world. We’re in challenging times, but we should still be thankful.
I think it’s a really good chance for everyone to stop and really take some time to think about how lucky we are in Australia and how our armed forces have contributed to us being so fortunate.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE ABOUT HOW TO CELEBRATE #ANZACATHOME THIS WEEKEND?
Even though we can’t celebrate the way we usually do, we can still celebrate in our own way. There are plenty of ways for us to acknowledge the service of our defence men and women and thank them for what they’ve done for us.
We all have a lot more free time at the moment. So, if you have a family member or friend with a military background, make the effort to find out more about them, what they did, where they served, what they went through. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about our loved ones to get a bit more context around why Anzac Day is so important.
Also, I’d really encourage everyone to get up early to watch the dawn service on TV and maybe join in with people lighting a candle or laying a wreath at the end of the driveway. It’s a really simple way you can still get that experience of sharing the day with the community but still keeping up the social distancing.
ANZAC DAY IS A TOUGH DAY FOR OUR VETERANS. WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES DO YOU THINK THEY’RE GOING TO BE FACING THIS YEAR?
Anzac Day is usually a chance for our defence force community to unwind and be around people who’ve been in the same situation, and this year they obviously can’t do that. Getting together is a bit of an emotional release and for some it’s harder to talk about their experiences with their families than each other. It’s something you can’t understand unless you’ve gone through it. Not having that opportunity to release is probably going to make people feel a little bit isolated and anxious.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO #CHECKYOURMATES?
I think that it’s going to be really important to #CheckYourMates this year and keep in contact to make sure everyone’s doing okay. The small act of extending a hand and asking how someone is doing can make such a big impact. It’s an emotional day for lots of people in our community and I would encourage anyone who knows someone in defence to make a phone call or send a message to show you’re thinking of them. It may not sound like a lot, but it will mean the world to them.