Welcome home from ops – do not pass go

On Thursday 2 April, 180 Australian Defence Force personnel returned home from operations in the Middle East – and went straight into quarantine.

CAPTION: Australian Defence Force personnel returning from the Middle East, prepare to begin their 14 day part of nationwide measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Photo by Corporal Chris Beerens.

Normally, family and friends would gather at the airport arrival gate with signs saying ‘Welcome home!’ or ‘WE LOVE YOU!’.

Sadly, because of the COVID-19 battle, there were no signs, no hugs or no tears from loved ones on arrival.

Our returning personnel have been placed into hotel quarantine – the same as any other returning Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Defence said it understood that this was a difficult time for the families and friends of those returning.

“We thank you for your patience during this period,” Army said on Facebook.

“We look forward to reuniting you with your loved ones soon.”

Army said it was committed to ensuring their actions followed Department of Health instructions to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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