from Sydney, Australia

  • Activity

    • Diggers

      9 years ago


      The average age of the Australian soldier is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.

      He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old holden, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock, hip-hop or heavy metal and 155mm Howitzers. He is 5 or 10 kg's lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.

      He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 60 seconds and reassemble it in less - in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.

      He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

      He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

      Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the Australian Soldier that has kept this country free for over 100 years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

    • Long time, no Journal!

      10 years ago


      Where to begin? It's been what, 2 years since my last entry?

      Well since then I've finished school, and gone through the whole "wow, I actually miss school" phase...

      Worked at a Paintball joint for a while, that was awesome. I mean, how could someone not enjoy getting paid to encourage others to inflict pain on eachother?... Hmm, that sounds sadistic.

      Anyway, I decided to get a real job, so, as you can tell from my new profile picture, I went and joined the Army.

      Finished basic a month ago, now I'm doing specialisation training. Just completed a driving course for light vehicles and medium cargo vehicles, then I'm going back to my home base to do my combat engineering course. So 3 months from now I'll be fully trained in all the fun stuff of the Royal Australian Engineers. I'll qualified in explosives, temporary construction, and about 6 different weapons systems :D

      And to top it all off, I may well be in Afghanistan within a year:)

    • Interstate Operations

      12 years ago


      Howdy hey! Just got back from a few days of interstate firefighting in Victoria (for those that don't know, Victoria {capital is Melbourne} is the south eastern state on the mainland, just under my homestate of New South Wales {capital: Sydney} )


      Strike team heading out

      We've got 6 states and 2 territories (places that aren't cool enough to be states) of those, 4 states and one territory have had bad bushfires (aka wildfires for the American audience) Victoria has been getting hit pretty hard lately, so New South wales has been sending down plenty of firfighters, equipment and vehicles to help out. I was in the first group, went down on friday the 8th, came home on monday 11th.


      CFA Vehicles at the staging area


      CFA and RFS vehicles

      The terrain we were working in was mostly mountains, with a little bit of flat farmland in between. Our job was to get into those hills and cut off the fire with backburning before it could get down and threaten the properties in the basin.

      Saturday's work was pretty damn successful, with winds blowing the fire back in on itself, and relatively cool temperatures throughout the day.


      Me, on saturday

      Sunday however was a different matter, with temperatures exceeding 42 degrees celcius (i think thats somewhere over 100 degrees Farenheit) less than 10% humidity and the winds doing everything except what we wanted them to do. We were working with a National Parks group who, despite having very little equipment, were hooking in just as much as we were. They brought in a pair of bulldozers which made short work of cutting trails through the bush to stop fire progression. Unfortunately, it was not long after one of these trails was cut, that the wind began blowing embers across it, and spot fires soon started in unburnt ground. Myself, and two others were sent off the track, down the hill (a hill with steep, loose sides) to put out the spot fires before they could spread too far, and we had just put a few out, when one of the officers up the hill started yelling "GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!" We looked around to see what could have caused him to say such a thing, when we saw it...

      Roughly 15 foot flames had just flared up about 5 meters away from us and were heading right towards our position. Now, in firefighting lingo, the area 5 minutes burning time in front of the fire is called the "dead man zone" I reckon we had all of 15 seconds to get out of there, but we managed.


      Sunday's fire creeping downhill

      It was one of those moments when time seems to slow down to what I call "Oh shit time" The three of us started scrambling back through the bush and back up the loose dirt on the hill, using our hoses to help pull us back up. By the time we got back up there, we had a few things to say, none of which were particularly nice. I seriously don't think i've said "FUCK" so many times in such a short space of time.


      Sunday's fire

      Ah well, we stuck around long enough to stabilise the situation, then at 8:00pm, after a long 12 hour shift, we handed over to the night crew and went back to the hotel.



      In that 4 days, about 170 Rural Fire Service and New South Wales Fire Brigades personell, operating off 10 heavy tankers and 7 light strike tankers, were involved in one fire area. All of us, in cooperation with local Country Fire Authority personell, managed to protect quite a substantial residential and agricultural area. There are however, 7 major fire zones still burning hard throughout Victoria, occupying the attention of RFS, NSWFB, CFA and Victorian metropolitan firefighters as well as members of New Zealand fire organisations. 4 homes have been lost in Victoria, a blissfully small number considering the size and nature of the fires. Fires continue to burn also throughout New South Wales and South Australia. In Tasmania, at least 24 homes have been destroyed by one fire, with 18 burning on the first day and many more under threat.

    • Firefigher's prayer.

      13 years ago


      When I am called to duty, God,
      wherever flames may rage;
      grant us the strength to save lives,
      whatever be their age.

      Help us embrace a little child
      before it is too late,
      or save an older person
      from the horror of that fate.

      Enable us to be alert
      and hear the weakest shout,
      to quickly and efficiently
      put the fires out.

      We want to fulfil our calling
      and be the best we can,
      in guarding our every neighbour
      and protecting their property.

      And if it be, while on the job,
      I should lose my life,
      please bless with your sustaining hand,
      all those Ive loved in life. Amen.

      - Author Unknown

    • The band played waltzing matilda

      13 years ago


      When I was a young man I carried my pack
      And I lived the free life of a rover
      From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
      I waltzed my Matilda all over
      Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
      It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
      So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
      And they sent me away to the war
      And the band played Waltzing Matilda
      As we sailed away from the quay
      And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
      We sailed off to Gallipoli

      How well I remember that terrible day
      How the blood stained the sand and the water
      And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
      We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
      Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
      He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
      And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
      Nearly blew us right back to Australia
      But the band played Waltzing Matilda
      As we stopped to bury our slain
      We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
      Then we started all over again

      Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
      In a mad world of blood, death and fire
      And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
      But around me the corpses piled higher
      Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
      And when I woke up in my hospital bed
      And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
      Never knew there were worse things than dying
      For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
      All around the green bush far and near
      For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
      No more waltzing Matilda for me

      So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
      And they shipped us back home to Australia
      The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
      Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
      And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
      I looked at the place where my legs used to be
      And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
      To grieve and to mourn and to pity
      And the band played Waltzing Matilda
      As they carried us down the gangway
      But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
      Then turned all their faces away

      And now every April I sit on my porch
      And I watch the parade pass before me
      And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
      Reliving old dreams of past glory
      And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
      The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
      And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
      And I ask myself the same question
      And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
      And the old men answer to the call
      But year after year their numbers get fewer
      Some day no one will march there at all

      Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
      Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
      And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
      Who'll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?

    • God help me, I was only 19

      13 years ago


      This song was written in the 70's, by a bloke called John Schuman and performed by him in a band called "Redgum". It became a national hit espcecially among Veterans almost imediately. It is still performed today whenever Vietnam Vets get together for a concert. Royalties from sales were donated to the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia.

      Just a few things that may help you understand the lyrics better.

      Puckapunyal was a recruit training center and Cunungra is a Jungle Warfare training center. Shoalwater was a place that the Army used for Military excercises. The SLR was the personal weapon mostly used in Vietnam. Vung Tau & Nui Dat were Aussie bases in Vietnam. V.B. is Victorian Bitter a very popular Aussie beer. Anzac is the acronym for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps


      Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade at Puckapunyal
      (It was a long march from cadets).
      The sixth battalion was the next to tour and It was me who drew the card.
      We did Canungra and Shoalwater before we left.

      And Townsville lined the footpath as we marched down to the quay.
      This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
      And there's me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.
      God help me, I was only nineteen.

      From Vung Tau riding Chinooks to the dust at Nui Dat,
      I'd been in and out of choppers now for months.
      But we made our tents a home. V.B. and pinups on the lockers,
      And an Asian orange sunset through the scrub.

      And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
      And night time's just a jungle dark and a barking M.16?
      And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
      God help me, I was only nineteen.

      A four week operation, when each step can mean your last one
      On two legs: it was a war within yourself.
      But you wouldn't let your mates down 'til they had you dusted off,
      So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.

      Then someone yelled out "Contact"', and the bloke behind me swore.
      We hooked in there for hours, then a God almighty roar.
      Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon.
      God help me, he was going home in June.

      I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
      On a thirty-six hour rec. leave in Vung Tau.
      And I can still see Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle.
      'Till the morphine came and killed the bloody row

      And the Anzac legends didn't mention mud and blood and tears.
      And stories that my father told me never seemed quite real
      I caught some pieces In my back that I didn't even feel.
      God help me, I was only nineteen.

      And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can't get to sleep?
      And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
      And what's this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
      God help me, I was only nineteen.

    • My first bad MVA

      13 years ago


      Well, to start off, MVA stands for Motor Vehicle Accident.

      That one in the background of my main photo isn't the one i'm talkin about here, that one happened a week earlier. This one happened last saturday. About 10:15 that night, 2 guys were coming home from a party in a Toyota utility. The driver was drunk, and was speeding. His passenger had told him to slow down, but he didn't listen. Both occupants were aged 17. Meanwhile another 17 year old in a Honda Civic was heading out to pick up a sibling from a friend's house. He got about 100 meters down the road, and was nearing a tight corner, when the driver of the utility took the corner too fast, slid out, crossed the road and hit the Civic in the front right corner, just near the wheel arch.

      The cars impacted so hard that the Utility's windshield popped right out of the frame and landed 5 meters away from the wreck. The footwell of the civic also caved in on the driver's right leg, crushing it in three places and pinning the driver inside. The utility's passenger suffered a broken collarbone, as well as head and neck injuries from the whiplash. The driver of the Utility went face first into the steering wheel, where his facial bones were shattered and a sharp object, possibly broken plastic from the shattered central panel on the steering wheel, punctured his neck. Fire crews, police and paramedics arrived on scene within minutes.

      A helicopter was called in to airlift the utility's driver to hospital, he actually died in transit but was revived with the defibrilator. He's now in a drug induced coma. His passenger is fine, with little more to show than a sling around his arm. The driver of the Honda has had his leg amputated above the knee.

      Now, even if the ute's driver does survive, he will be paying off insurance for both cars, and compensation for the Civic's driver for years.

      Just goes to show what a bit of alcohol can do.

    • The Australian Soldier.

      13 years ago


      Over time and throughout many wars, the Australian soldier has done his/her fair share of ass kicking. Every time we've found ourselves in a decent engagement, the Australian soldier has been seen by our enemies to be one of the most formiddable foes they have yet fought. Here's a few quotes about our boys.

      "When the Australians came to France, the French people expected a great deal of you. We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the very beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back tomorrow and say to my countrymen: I have seen the Australians. I have looked in their faces. I know that these men will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children."

      In a foreword to a book on the Great War, John Masefield wrote:

      'During the war the English suddenly became aware of a new kind of man, unlike any usually seen here. These strangers were not Europeans; they were not Americans. They seemed to be of the one race, for all of them had something of the same bearing, and something of the same look of humorous, swift decision. On the whole they were taller, broader, better-looking and more graceful in their movements than other races.

      'Yet in spite of so much power and beauty they were very friendly people, easy to get on with, most helpful, kind and hospitable. Though they were all in uniform, like the rest of Europe, they were remarkable in that their uniform was based upon sense, not upon nonsense.

      'When people asked, who are these fellows, nobody, at first, knew.

      'The strangers became conspicuous in England after about a year of war. They were preceded by the legend that they had been "difficult" in Egypt, and that they had to be camped in the desert to keep them from throwing Cairo down the Nile. Then came stories of their extraordinary prowess in war. Not even the vigilance of the censors could keep down the accounts of their glory in battle. For themselves.

      'Since that time, the Australian army has become famous all over the world as the finest army engaged in the Great War. They did not always salute; they did not see the use of it; they did, from time to time, fling parts of Cairo down the Nile and some of them kept the military police alert in most of the back areas. But in battle they were superb. When the Australians were put in, a desperate feat was expected and then done. Every great battle in the west was an honour and more upon their banners.

      'No such body of free men has given so heroically since our history began.'

      These words were said by President Attaturk, the founder of modern Turkey, who, in World War I, as Colonel Mustafa Kemal, led the Turkish forces facing the Australians.

      Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives....
      You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country therefore rest in peace.
      There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours....
      You, the mothers
      Who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

    • "I wish you could know..."

      14 years ago


      I wish you could know what it is like to search a burning bedroom
      for trapped children at 3 AM, flames rolling above your head, your palms and
      knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen
      below you burns.

      I wish you could comprehend a wife's horror at 6 in the morning as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

      I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of
      soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear,
      the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely
      nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I've become too familiar with.

      I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire "Is
      this false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What
      hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?" Or to call, "What is wrong with the patient?
      Is it minor or life threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he
      waiting for us with a 2x4 or a gun?"

      I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead
      the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the
      past 25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words, "I love
      you Mommy" again.

      I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the
      engine, squad, or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard
      on the pedal, my arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you
      fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us
      however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, "It took you forever
      to get here!"

      I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of
      teenage years from the remains of her automobile. "What if this was my daughter,
      sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parents reactions going to
      be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?"

      I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet
      my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did
      not come back from the last call.

      I wish you could know how it feels dispatching officers, fire fighters
      and EMT's out and when we call for them and our heart drops because no one
      answers back or to hear a bone chilling 911 call of a child or wife
      needing assistance.

      I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes
      physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their
      attitudes of "It will never happen to me.

      I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or
      missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all
      the tragedy my eyes have seen.

      I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of
      helping save a life or preserving someone's property, or being able to be there in
      time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

      I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy
      tugging at your arm and asking, "Is Mommy okay?" Not even being able to
      look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have
      to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having CPR done on him
      as they take him away in the Medic Unit. You know all along he did not have
      his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

      Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly
      understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to
      us...I wish you could though.

    • Random book of Genesis thingy

      14 years ago


      At first, there was nothing. Then God created light. There was still nothing but at least you could see it a whole lot better.

  • About Me

  • Comments (4)

    • OASAAS

      12 years ago

      Fight for the right to own the Inner Sphere!

    • Brookems3

      12 years ago

      LOL yeah was nice!

    • efinity

      13 years ago

      read my latest journal! it has to do with that green grunt in my image section.

    • rommelgreif

      13 years ago

      Welcome to Andrew's institution for the clinically insane.
      Sane people welcome.

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