Former army infantry captain Len Kelly is embarking on a life-changing expedition, and taking a fellow former digger with him.
Mr Kelly, now a historian and businessman, said he had a "soft spot" for soldiers returned from war, particularly young soldiers who carried both physical and mental injuries.
He is partially funding an archaeological dig at the famous Australian and British battlefield of Bullecourt in France and has decided to take young veteran Kieren Scotchford with him.
The pair leaves Tuesday, June 11.
"I never never saw active service having been in the army post-Vietnam and when the world was more or less at peace," Mr Kelly said.
"However in recent years I've seen young, keen enthusiastic men freshly trained come back as different men. It's sad."
He is sponsoring Mr Scotchford to join the dig, a soldier from Brisbane's 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Mr Kelly's old battalion.
The project has received the support of Terang RSL.
"Terang RSL Sub Branch is very supportive of this project and will continue to update everyone of the progress with the dig from Bullecourt France," president Steve Bloxham said.
The dig is being conducted by Breaking Ground Heritage of the UK, founded by former Royal Marine Dickie Bennett.
With French government approvals in place and with Richard Osgood, a senior archaeologist of the British Ministry of Defence, the team is set to excavate sections of the Australian support line in the battlefield.
They will be camping on the battlefield and working hand in hand with British veterans, also survivors of combat.
"I have sometimes found it very hard dealing with civilian life after serving in the infantry in Afghanistan in 2012. This trip is something that I am excited to be part of," Mr Scotchford said.
"It will be great mixing with the British veterans and swapping notes.
"To link ourselves with the immortal memories and deeds of Australian and British soldiers who fought in France during the Great War of 1914-18 is very humbling."
Mr Kelly hopes the experience will help Mr Scotchford transition back into everyday life.
"I hope the unique experience for Kieran, being surrounded by positive people from a shared culture will help further his transition into civilian life and one day leave behind forever the effects of combat trauma," he said.
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