25 Aug A Lasting Legacy
Raising a family is one of the most important jobs you’ll ever have, but the sudden loss of a partner due to their line of work flips your world entirely –this was the reality for Queensland Mum, Beckie MacKinney-Clohesy on the 24th of August 2010.
Beckie’s husband, Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney was operating as a mentor to the Afghan National Army during a partnered patrol in the Deh Rawud region (Afghanistan) when he was tragically shot and killed by insurgents while on patrol.
Beckie, who was pregnant at the time and went into labour the morning of Jared’s funeral, describes the experience as, “the most gut-wrenching, heart breaking, and emotional-numbing time. You think it’s just a bad dream–that it can’t be right,” she said.
That was until the Australian Defence Force introduced Beckie and her young children, Annabell and Noah to Legacy in February 2011. Beckie, Annabell and Noah are just some of the 43,000 partners and children supported by Legacy’s dedicated volunteers –called Legatees–across Australia.
Beckie says Legacy is an “emotional support godsend”–creating a strong network for the family through some of their toughest years. Her Legatee, Tony Ralph and his wife are like grandparents, with regular calls, dinners and Christmas celebrations across the past 11 years of friendship. He even emceed her wedding to her new husband, Damien in 2014.
Beckie knows her relationship with Tony is rare, “he has zero responsibility to participate in anything like that, but he was just honoured to be there,” she recalled of her wedding.
Legacy Brisbane CEO, Brendan Cox says Legatees are the heart and soul of the not-for-profit and friendships like the one between Tony and Beckie are regular occurrences.
“Legatees are the backbone of Legacy –the people who create strong connections with our families and go above and beyond to deliver the many support services we offer. Beckie and Tony’s friendship is not a one-off instance –we see this time and time again,” he said.
Legacy Week is an annual opportunity for all Australians to show their support of the widows and children who have lost their loved ones due to service. Brendan encourages the community to support families like Beckie’s this Legacy Week.
“As a not-for-profit, we rely on the generosity of our community to assist us in continuing to support the partners and children of veterans through social connection, financial assistance and development support,” he added.
“We know that times are tough right now for a lot of people in Australia, but your donation can make a genuine difference for families like Beckie’s who have overcome adversities that most of us could not have imagined.”
Beckie’s message for others this Legacy Week is simple – “Legacy has provided more support than I could ever imagine and would bend over backwards to support my family. No matter how big or small, your donation will help Legacy continue to provide life-changing services for families.”
Legacy Week will run from Sunday 29 August to Saturday 4 September 2021 – for more information or to donate to Legacy, head to Legacy Week
Main Image: Beckie and her new husband Damien and their family
- Beckie, Annabell and Jared MacKinney
- Annabell and Noah off to Legacy camp 2020