ANZAC Day: Veteran To Lay Poppies For Fallen Soldiers At Mt Everest

25/04/2016 7:14 AM AEST | Updated 03/08/2016 12:50 AM AEST

While many Australians are paying their respects at the Anzac Day dawn service, veteran Brian Freeman will be laying 41 poppies at Mt Everest to commemorate the 41 fallen Australian soldiers from Afghanistan before climbing to the top.

This is Freeman's third attempt at the climb. Last year, the veteran was stranded at Camp Two when an avalanche hit, prompting the Nepal Earthquake. And the first year, another avalanche.

The poppies would have been taken to the top of the Everest summit climb, but conditions have, again, thrown Freeman's mission another curve ball. But the Roll of Honour will be taken all the way to the top when Freeman has the all clear.

"When you have the Director of the Australian War Memorial giving you permission to take the Afghanistan Roll of Honour on a four year journey around the globe to commemorate the service of these young men, you don't let anything stand in your way. Not even an avalanche," Freeman told The Huffington Post Australia from the Base Camp of Mt Everest.

roll of honour

The Roll of Honour and poppies Freeman will lay on Anzac Day.

Freeman tends to do things differently than most. The man who served 20 years in the Australian Army is the CEO of Walking Wounded, an organisation aiding the psychological recovery of ex-soldiers and servicemen transitioning back into regular life on home soil.

"I generally say the best thing to do is to lead them out of the army like you lead them in the army. And that seems to be the shortfall, they're not being led on the outside," Freeman told The Huffington Post Australia.

Through veteran-led programs, the organisation provides a place for veterans to build relationships and regain lost confidence.

As many as 242 Australian soldiers have returned home to take their own lives since 1999, and Freeman is using Walking Wounded to battle the statistics with recovery and support programs.

Not one veteran with Walking Wounded has taken their life, Freeman said.

Freeman hopes his summit climb to the top of Everest will help veterans battling on home soil realise "there is 'life after Army'".

"You can succeed in any path you now choose with or without a uniform," Freeman said.

And what did the Director of the Australian War Memorial say to Freeman when passing on the Roll of Honour?

"Simply, 'Good luck.'"

You can track Freeman's Everest climb here or donate to Walking Wounded at

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