BY any measure, Brisbane archdiocese’s Deacon Gary Stone’s life is an extraordinary one.
Now his life is the subject of a book, Duntroon to Dili, being launched by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge at St Peter Chanel parish hall, The Gap on Friday, September 26.
Deacon Stone’s book relates adventures and challenges in his roles including soldier, commander, husband, parent, peacekeeper, minister and celebrant and more recently working with Australian veterans dealing with trauma from combat situations.
“It’s very much an Australian story lived out with other Aussies making a positive difference in world affairs,” he said.
“Many of the dramatic experiences of my life have been lived out in far-away places such as Iraq or closer to home in Timor-Leste.
“But all have been underpinned by family life with my wife Lynne, and our children, Catherine, Michael, Christy and Paul, (and not forgetting our granddaughter, Brianna).
“They have been my consolation and a source of great joy and stability.”
His family’s support was very much needed after he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following time spent serving in the Middle East.
“The whole family has had to carry the extra burden of a husband and father who has been emotionally affected by witnessing numerous crises,” he said.
“When I came home from war, war came home with me. We have hung together well with this challenge.”
Deacon Stone’s sons Michael and Paul have followed his footsteps to become soldiers and have been deployed on operations overseas, as he says “with stories of their own to tell”.
He said among goals for the book “was to increase awareness of how the people of our Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police have contributed to immense good in the world in the last 40 years”.
“In the end though, I trust everyone will enjoy, be uplifted and encouraged by the many experiences I relate,” he said.
“I hope they will bring a smile to the face and be nourishment to the soul.”
To attend the launch or to buy Duntroon to Dili contact Deacon Stone on (07) 3300 6410 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.