In Legacy Week we are pleased to feature the story of Richard (Rick) Cranna, Chairman of Legacy Australia and a Legatee for nearly 50 years.
Rick served in the Australian Army in 1968 to 1970, being posted to the 12 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery 102 Field Battery, in South Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.
Rick was a national serviceman, who was studying accounting at the time of his conscription but deferred his enlistment to finish his degree. Once his degree was complete, Rick completed basic training and was quickly sent over to serve in Vietnam.
Once he discharged from the Army, Rick was able to return to the company he was employed as a Stock and Station Agent by prior to the war, Australian Mercantile Land and Finance Company Limited. Thanks to his accountancy degree, when the company was taken over by Elders Limited Rick progressed through the ranks to NSW Finance Manager before finishing his career at the head office in Adelaide as the National Credit Manager.
Rick does not see himself as a hero, but in his role as National Chairman of Legacy he is passionate about veterans and their families.
While transitioning can be difficult, Rick believes with the right tools and good support from your networks, you will get there.
"I think the important thing is to make sure you form part of the transition seminars that the military are now holding for transitioning veterans, take note of what support organisations there are available, such as Legacy, Solider On, Open Arms," Rick says.
"All these organisations can help a transitioning veteran. You need to actively look for the support, and you get this information at these transition seminars. This means it's important to attend these so you can know where the support lies."
After he served, Rick still felt the need to give back to the community. Rick's father served in the Second World War, and upon return to Australia became a volunteer with Legacy. Following in his footsteps, in 1970 Rick became a volunteer Legatee and served within various Legacy clubs around Australia. Rick is still an active Legatee at the Brisbane Water Legacy in Gosford in addition to his duties as the Chairman.
Legacy Australia raises much needed funds for the families of Veterans who are suffering as a result of their service in the Defence Force. Each year in early September is the Legacy Weeks appeal. As part of Legacy Week, you may see volunteers around fundraising vital funds that go towards the families of those who have served their country. Australians are encouraged to dig deep, buy a badge, pen or bear and donate what they can.