This Anzac Day will be very special for Gunner Cooper McCallum, who is participating in the Anzac Day Dawn Service and parade in his hometown of Wauchope, NSW.
CAPTION: Gunner Cooper McCallum at Gallipoli Barracks Brisbane. Story by Captain Jesse Robilliard. Photo by Corporal Nicole Dorrett.
The young Gunner with 1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, is taking part for the first time since joining the Army two years ago.
“I will be very proud to go home now. Ever since I joined the Army I have wanted to go home and march,” he said.
Now based at Gallipoli Barracks in Brisbane, Gunner McCallum is an artillery systems operator with A Battery, the longest serving permanent unit in the Australian Army, predating Australian Federation.
“Anzac Day makes me feel pretty proud of what the diggers have done before me,” he said.
“I understand A Battery played a big part in the Vietnam War and they have a very rich history.”
The Australian Army recently came to the aid of Wauchope and the Mid-North Coast when devastating floods hit the region.
More than 200 members of the Brisbane-based 7th Combat Brigade helped clean up Wauchope and the wider Mid-North Coast region as part of Operation NSW Flood Assist.
“Everyone I talked to back home said that the Army that supported Flood Assist were great, they were always nice, respectful, they did all they could,” Gunner McCallum said.
“They got the job done, they are held in high regard back in Wauchope.”