Soldiers helping to mend fences
In the grips of a drought, Mrs Shirley Schultz sold one-third of her cattle in 2019.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from 7th Brigade assist a farmer near Gatton, Queensland, by cleaning fences of flood debris and checking their integrity. Story by Private Jacob Joseph.
Waiting for the rain at her Gatton farm, the 84-year-old widower hand fed her cattle a mixture of waste vegetables and hay twice a day.
Army soldier Trooper Rylan Green from 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) said he will remember the devastation when his troop arrived to fix Mrs Schultz’s fence, following some of the worst flooding in memory.
The fence surrounding her 50-acre property was swept away, forcing Mrs Schultz to keep her 30 head of cattle in a small enclosure until help arrived.
“I don’t think there were many options for her, so it’s lucky we were there to crack in and help,” Trooper Green said.
Trooper Green and the rest of his squadron repaired and reinstalled hundreds of metres of fencing.
Mrs Shultz provided the supplies, Trooper Green and 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment’s soldiers provided the labour, completing a three-day job in a day and a half.
Soldiers gathered supplies, such as star pickets and wire, and installed a three-tier fence topped with barbed wire.
The cleanup continued for Mrs Schultz until her cattle were safe.
Trooper Green said he felt a sense of accomplishment when the job was finished.
“Seeing the end product and the hard work that the team put in was a big achievement for the troop and myself,” he said.
Defence support to Queensland and NSW governments is being delivered under Operation Flood Assist 2022.
CAPTION: Australian Army soldiers from 7th Brigade assist a farmer near Gatton, Queensland, by cleaning fences of flood debris and checking their integrity. Photo by 7th Brigade.