Finding love and hope through the ANZACs

by Jenny Schwartz

My dad’s a Vietnam Veteran and that gives special meaning to Anzac Day for me. I know the sacrifices our soldiers give, quietly, heroically, and how we take those sacrifices for granted. I know the strength it takes to rebuild your life when it’s been touched by war or tragedy – not first hand, but because that re-building is a whole family affair. We all feel the pain.

My parents met because of Vietnam. Mum was working with the girlfriend of a serving soldier and asked if there was anyone in his unit who didn’t have a girlfriend and wanted a penpal. Dad answered. They’ve been married for over forty years.

So I know that love is stronger than grief, stronger than loss. Love endures and love saves.

This Anzac Day, I hope you celebrate and draw strength from its message of courage and love, and from the power of mateship. That’s why I wrote “Memories of Love”.

–Jenny Schwartz

9082When her family home burns down, it’s the final heartbreak for Rita Jorden who has already lost her parents. Her boss, former SAS captain and head of Tamerlane Security, Ivan Novak, steps in, offering her his home and his help. But Ivan has his own demons, and although he’s interested in Rita, there’s darkness in his past that could cause her harm. Thrown together into a situation that’s too close for comfort, this story can only end in one of two ways: in the destruction of Rita’s dreams of love — or the gift of healing and hope to two damaged survivors.  

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7 thoughts on “Finding love and hope through the ANZACs

  1. Beautifully said, Jenny. We have always appreciated what our military men have sacrificed.

    And though we all worry that our grandson has joined the army and past his rigorous training, we are also proud he made it through the long rigorous training with the mates he’s made. Their march out parade will on the 2nd of May at the Kapooka barracks. The whole family is going. I doubt there will be a dry eye amongst us.
    Good luck with your lovely novel, Memories of Love

    • Louise, of course you’re proud of your grandson! Kapooka isn’t for wusses 🙂 I attended a friend’s brother’s march out. It was emotional to see the little boy I remembered all grown up, marching (you’ll have some giggles as your grandson shares the effects of training – they “march” everywhere, so inground is the training) and in uniform. Thank him for me.

      And I hope you and your family have a happy, safe Anzac Day weekend.

      • Thanks Jenny,
        We’re leaving this Thursday and we’re all getting excited. His two sisters are going shopping with us tomorrow to buy new outfits 🙂
        We watched him come into the world, and grow up fast. Gosh! 🙂

  2. I am definitely going to take a look at that book! Plus, I love your parents’ story.

    My father is a Vietnam veteran, too. Everyone in my immediate family lives only a few minutes from the Australian War Memorial, but we never go to the dawn service (I’m going to admit I am the world’s worst morning person!).
    We sometimes stop by there later in the day, however. So often there’re children and grandchildren of veterans wearing medals, but my father goes in disguise as a civilian! Apart from arranging some of the big commemoration events on ANZAC Parade a few years ago (being a Canberran, the army somehow ‘volunteered’ him to arrange everything while he was oblivious and on a holiday in Hawaii!), he doesn’t really do the veteran thing…

    • LOL that’s the army! If you’re not there to protest, you’ve volunteered 🙂

      Nice to meet you as another Vietnam Vet kid, Sonya

  3. Lovely post, Jenny. The men and women make an enormous sacrifice for their country when called up. I don’t have anyone in my family who served, but I’ve research about the Anzacs. Terrible story of sacrifice.
    Best
    Cathleen

    • Cathleen, that is the best description “terrible story of sacrifice”. I could just cry when I think of all the men the world lost, and how differently the twentieth century could have developed. If onlys are so sad.

      Take care and enjoy the weekend 🙂

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