The little things that matter

DVA staff have helped a 95 year old Royal Australian Air Force veteran gain his Australian Veteran Pin as part of the Veteran Recognition Package (VRP), just days before he passed away on 18 May.

6 July 2020

As soon as Geoff Hitchins turned 18 in 1943, he left a job in the then Bank of New South Wales to join the Royal Australian Air Force. After basic training he was assigned to learning to operate what was then the new and top secret radar equipment being introduced. He was posted to various static and mobile RAAF radar units in a network that by war’s end had grown to around 210 sites monitoring Allied and enemy aircraft and ships in Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

After the war he returned to banking, before settling in Canberra and joining the public service.

Recently as Mr Hitchins’ health declined, he mentioned he’d really like the Australian Veteran Pin but had been too unwell to apply himself. On the Wednesday before he died, his family asked DVA for assistance. The VRP team was able to complete the administration for the application and provide his family with a pin and a copy of the Oath to be presented to Mr Hitchins.

Afterwards, his daughter Ruth told DVA staff: ‘Words can’t explain enough for what you have done for Dad.’

It reminded DVA staff that sometimes it is the smallest things they do that have the biggest impact.

For more information on the Australian Defence Veterans' Covenant visit the DVA website.

Geoffrey Hitchins and his father William, 1944
Geoffrey Hitchins and his father, William, 1944