I am an Australian Sailor.
I am not only an Australian sailor, but I am also proud – proud of the veterans of the past, veterans who showed tremendous courage, resilience and loyalty.
I am proud of the veterans of today. For many of you the fight is not over, but I am proud. In my eyes you haven’t been praised enough.
I am proud of the veterans of the future. Even if you feel as though you haven’t been tested and are not sure of your worth, based on my experience, you will do what you need to when it is asked of you. The professionalism, courage, devotion and integrity is in you. It’s blindly obvious.
I have seen a 20-year-old calm more than 5000 frightened people in amongst the chaos of a violent revolution.
I have witnessed a 19-year-old woman stand her ground for 12 hours in 40 degree heat and full armour to ensure the safety of her crew.
I have watched young men alleviate fears during peace talks.
I have seen men and women care for and nurse strangers from foreign lands back from the brink of death.
I have been in the presence of so much devotion, strength, courage and outright heroic characteristics, that it is hard to comprehend.
Never could I imaging such a great collective from all different backgrounds that unite under a common set of values.
The adaptability, readiness and willingness of so many people is something to be desired.
I, like many others, am ready to sail anywhere in the world, for however long it takes to ensure the country I love and her interests are protected.
The ANZAC spirit resonates in the modern sailor.
I cannot imagine my life without the sailors I have crossed paths with, the men and women who have been by my side when peacekeeping, on long voyages or quiet watches.
I will even hold a special place in my heart for the sailors who have simply made my life happier, by making me smile, or just by being there.
I am an Australian sailor #navy #aussie #ANZAC #CHAR #RAN #sailor #iamanaustraliansailor
By Dave Finney, a recently retired Royal Australian Navy Petty Officer.