33. Mefloquine Dispatches: General Jim Molan, 11th March 2002 (Final)
by Shane Granger
It all started with Erin Molan.
Every time I saw her presenting on the Footy Show it would trigger me. I would blow up. “Turn that shit off, I cannot stand her”, I would scream. I don’t watch Rugby League at home so I would only be triggered at my friend’s place.
In the end it became a running joke.
“Turn the TV off, Erin is on”. The boys would laugh.
For the record I have never met Erin, nor General Jim Molan.
Yet, every time I saw either of them, I would flip out. Amnesia is funny.
Decades after leaving the Army I’m researching my service history and I come across this document.
No wonder Erin would trigger me. Turns out her father did my Service Review back in 2002 and I completely forgot about it. I could imagine him angrily coming out of his office at HQ 1 Division and forcefully telling his Legal officer to ‘get rid of this uppity Digger’ or words to that effect.
So, in March 2002, I get two letters. One from General Molan, the other from a legal Lieutenant Colonel. The legal letter details my mental health better than I could. I simply wasn’t making sense. Items that should have been in my personnel record were missing. Important information including a forgotten operation and mefloquine exposure not included. No wonder I sounded crazy.
Imagine if General Molan had of properly looked at my case. In his role as 1st Division & Deployable Joint Force HQ he would have been aware of the complications arising from the widespread use of Tafenoquine and Mefloquine during the Bougainville and East Timor deployments. Service people were going crazy everywhere. No one made the connection because it got lost in the operational tempo hype.
In fact, no one listened to me in 1998 and by 2002 I was causing problems from 1 Division to the Judge Advocate they just wanted rid of me. My case would have been one of the first of the many hundreds, perhaps thousands that would follow? It would take more than a decade and a half just to the Tafenoquine trials reviewed.
All too late to make a difference.
Because of Generals like Jim Molan.
16.01.2023: Senator for NSW, Major General Andrew James Molan (ret) died after a long battle from prostate cancer.
No tears from me.
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