Julie Sexton, wife and mother of two Air Force personnel, had two great reasons to be proud and relieved recently as her husband Wing Commander Philip Sexton and their son Leading Aircraftman Caleb Sexton returned home after completing their respective deployments to the Middle East region.
CAPTION: Wing Commander Philip Sexton congratulates his son Leading Aircraftman Caleb Sexton on receiving the Australian Operational Service Medal-Greater Middle East during the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) 3 medal parade in the Middle East on 20 February 2017. Photo by Corporal Bill Solomou.
Both members deployed at about the same time, but to very different jobs.
Wing Commander Sexton deployed to the MER as the senior personnel officer at Headquarters Joint Task Force 633, serving at Australia’s main logistics base.
Leading Aircraftman Sexton deployed to Australia’s main operating base as a communications electronics technician with Theatre Communications Group 3.
During the Theatre Communications Group 3 transfer of authority medal parade, Wing Commander Sexton had the honour of presenting his son with the Australian Operational Service Medal-Greater Middle East medal (AOSM).
Wing Commander Sexton said this was likely to be his last deployment after a career spanning 30 years, while Leading Aircraftman Sexton has completed his first deployment to the MER in his short three-year service career.
“I received my AOSM in November last year and it is great to be given the opportunity to present my son with his,” he said.
Wing Commander Sexton said it was ironic how the pair were closer together geographically compared to back in Australia.
“Caleb is posted to RAAF Base Edinburgh and I’m in Canberra, so it was funny that our deployments actually brought us closer together,” Wing Commander Sexton said.
“We were able to catch up for Christmas, which meant a lot to us both.”