Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

A Graveside Debt; Family Struggles to Pay for Soldier's Farewell

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

A Graveside Debt; Family Struggles to Pay for Soldier's Farewell

Article excerpt

Byline: TONI SOMES

AT 20, in a country far from home and weighed down by the unaccustomed feel of a rifle, Kerry Deacon was forced to become a soldier.

At 59, weighed down bymemories of his Vietnam War service, in a quiet ward in the Warwick Hospital, he died.

His family was left with precious memories and a graveside debt.

Danny Mason had to scrape together all his spare cash to pay for his older brother'sfuneral.

Even then the service was minimal: held graveside, without a wake or a headstone.

This week the local meatworker celebrated the simple fact he has finally Co some two years after his brother's death Co saved enough for the $500 stone and plaque.

But his private jubilation was jaded by news this week that the Australian Defence Forces are now willing to pay up to $38,000 for individual soldier's sex-change operations.

It is not that Mr Mason resents those with sexuality issues: Kerry Deacon came home from war and married, before announcing he was homo-sexual. …

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