My name is Ray Payne OAM, I am a Vietnam veteran. I served with the First Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR) during 1965-66 at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. Our battalion group was attached to the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) and operated as the third battalion of the brigade.
I started the Veteranweb Network in 2001 at that time I gathered information and forwarded it via email to around 160 veterans many of whom were mates from 1RAR most still subscribe today.
The Veteranweb Network is a totally free service to all veterans and associations and will always remain totally free.
As the years past and more veterans came on line the network grew by word of mouth, many associations joined and encouraged their members to subscribe.
My aim was always to keep veterans informed and up to date with any changes made by the DVA that may assist veterans, social commentary is also an area that has generated great interest.
I receive upwards of one hundred emails each and every day, I read every email and many have information of interest to other veterans that I then share.
Sadly, I also receive and pass on information about the passing of veterans and funeral details.
The network has been extremely successful in locating veterans and reuniting them with mates and at times family. I’m pleased to say that over the years we have had 100% success.
At times the information I send out may be of no interest or too long to read or watch by some veterans, I simply ask that they treat my emails like they would a newspaper, read what interests them and delete what doesn’t.
Apart from providing information, my main concern is social isolation, I aim to keep veterans in contact with the outside, I may not have face to face contact but I feel that I’m trying to help.