The president of the Wagga RSL Sub-Branch has warned there could soon be no one left to organise major commemorations like Anzac Day, due to a drastic drop in the number of younger veterans joining the charity.
With preparations for this year's national day of remembrance in full swing, David Gardiner has shone a light on what he believes to be the biggest problem facing the veteran's group.
More than three quarters of the charity's 340 members are over the age of 70 and less young veterans are joining up each year.
The drop in the group's popularity coincides with the growth of smaller, grassroots organisations like The Defence Shed.
Mr Gardiner said the Wagga RSL Sub-Branch, who organise the city's Anzac Day commemoration each year, is in desperate need of more "young, eligible and able-bodied" veterans.
"We've got to get these young and middle aged veterans interested in the RSL because without them you won't have anyone to organise Anzac Day," he said.
"There's quite a number of them here that live in Wagga and we've got to impress upon them that we need them because we're eventually going to run out of people to do it - that's the biggest problem that faces the RSL at the moment."
Preparations for this year's commemoration began as early as February and Mr Gardiner says more than 1000 hours of volunteering has been done by the sub-branch's aging cohort.
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Wagga veteran Michael White joined the group earlier this year and is one of their younger members, having only retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2018.
Mr White said he wants to see his fellow younger generation of Riverina veterans come together and embrace the RSL.
"Eventually we're going to have to move on from the older veterans to the younger generation and to do that we have to work in conjunction with each other," he said.
"If it continues to go the way that it is going right now, the sub-branch will just disintegrate because the older generation of blokes will pass on and there will be no one to take over."
Mr White believes the lack of interest from younger veterans is because of a disconnect between the different generations.
"To fix that is going to take a lot of working together," he said.
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