MEDIA RELEASE: Australia gives the gift of giving to celebrate Sergeant Bert Le-Merton’s 102nd Birthday – Smashing $102K in funds raised to help prevent veteran suicide.
November 18 2020, Sergeant Bert Le-Merton (Ret’d) celebrated his 102nd birthday.
To mark the occasion, the Australian public rallied behind the World War II veteran and helped him surpass $102,000 raised through his March On Challenge fundraiser.
On August 15 2020, Sergeant Bert set out to walk the Soldier On March On Challenge with the hope of raising $10,000 – A target which he surpassed on the evening of August 14.
In the subsequent months, Sergeant Bert averaged 1.75KM a day and he completed his initial objective of walking 96KM (the length of the Kokoda Track) on October 10 – Greeted at the finish line by the Australian Federation Guard which lined Bert’s street in a guard of honour, a sign of gratitude for his support of our contemporary veterans.
“That’s the objective of my existence currently”. – Sergeant Bert speaking of his March On Challenge.
In the week prior to his birthday, Sergeant Bert received a phone call from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The Prime Minister wished him a happy forth-coming birthday and congratulated him on his amazing efforts with his March On fundraiser.
Sergeant Bert told Mr Morrison “Unfortunately, there are some people who are unable to transition into civilian life. It’s associations like Soldier on that has encouraged me to try and help those younger personnel who are leaving the services for one reason or another. They need assistance and Soldier On is helping them in that way. That’s the objective of my existence currently, is to ensure that that continues to happen.”