Home' Army News : December 10th 2009 Contents Face of Army
The Soldiers' Newspaper
Rod Horan: (02) 6265 4650
David Edlington: (02) 6266 7609
WO2 Graham McBean: (02) 62667608
Fiona van der Plaat: (02) 6266 7612
Sgt Andrew Hetherington: (02) 6266 7614
Cpl Corinne Boer: (02) 6265 2427
Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe: (02) 6266 7606
Bill Cunneen: 0402 155 220
Fax: (02) 6265 6690
Mail: The Editor, Army, R8-LG-038, Department
of Defence, Canberra ACT 2600
Web site: www.defence.gov.au/news/armynews
Phone: (02) 6266 7607
Army is published fortnightly by Defence Newspapers.
It is printed under contract by Capital Fine Print. The
material published is selected for its interest. The views
expressed in published articles are not necessarily
those of Defence or Army. Every advertisement is
subject to Directorate of Defence Newspapers approval
and the Directorate of Defence Newspapers may,
at its discretion, refuse to accept an advertisement.
The Directorate accepts no responsibility or liability
in relation to any loss due to the failure of an
advertisement to appear or if it appears in a form which
is not in accordance with the instructions received by
the Directorate of Defence Newspapers. The fact that
an advertisement is accepted for publication does not
mean that the product or service has the endorsement
of the Department of Defence or Army.
Army December 10, 2009
By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
"THE parade brings an end to
the deployment for me, especial-
ly since I didn't come back to
Australia with my contingent."
This is how Cpl Sarah
Webster, who was wounded in
Iraq, described her experience of
marching with more than 300 cur-
rent and ex-serving ADF person-
nel in a parade to mark the end of
The Federation Guard led the
parade along Anzac Parade in
Canberra to the Australian War
Memorial on November 21.
Dignitaries in attendance includ-
ed Governor-General Quentin
Bryce, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd,
CDF ACM Angus Houston and the
three service chiefs.
More than 17,300 personnel
deployed on Op Catalyst between
July 16, 2003, and July 31, 2009.
In his speech ACM Houston
paid tribute to three Australians
who died while on operation.
"Today I honour the service of
WO2 David Nary from the SASR
and Pte Jacob Kovco of 3RAR,"
ACM Houston said. "I also wish
to mention Flt-Lt Paul Pardoel, a
graduate of ADFA, who was killed
in Iraq while serving with the
Pte Kovco's son Tyrie marched
in the parade alongside 3RAR
ACM Houston said we should
also remember the ADF personnel
who were wounded. "[There were]
27 ADF men and women who were
wounded during this operation.
Some made full recoveries, ohers
will never fully recover," he said.
Cpl Webster, who was wounded
with Secdet 9, said it was "an hon-
our to be called upon to participate
in the parade".
She was asleep when a rocket
fired by insurgents landed near her
barracks in Baghdad's Green Zone
on August 14, 2006. Her extensive
By Michael Brooke
PTE D, of 2 Cdo Regt, says he prob-
ably should never have survived the
IED strike on his vehicle in Oruzgan
province, Afghanistan, on April 3.
"The doctors who operated on me
said I should be dead now, so there's
no doubt my mates saved my life," Pte
His mates worked feverishly with
combat first aid kits to stabilise his
shocking wounds which, combined with
medivac within the "golden hour", ulti-
mately saved his life.
Pte D lost both legs in the attack but
has since found hope in the overwhelm-
ing support from family, mates and the
wider Army community.
"Unfortunately, there aren't words
to accurately describe my appreciation
for all the support I have received from
my mates and the wider Defence com-
munity, who not only saved my life but
have given me hope for a very bright
future," he said.
Pte D said the care provided by
Defence had paved the way for his
"I'm just in awe of the invisible sup-
port network within Defence that has
helped me to recover to such a point
where I'm quite excited about my
future," he said.
He is scheduled for several more
operations but he recently returned to
duty at 2 Cdo Regt, where he is again
"one of the boys".
"I have been working two days a
week in the Development Cell, which is
really exciting as it allows me to make
a small but meaningful contribution
to operational support," he said with a
He said the spirit of mateship and
the vital support and medical treatment
provided by Defence enabled him to
walk with prosthetic legs within eight
weeks of returning to Australia after
extensive surgery in Germany.
"The medical treatment and care I
received allowed me to achieve my first
important goal, which was to be stand-
ing on my new legs at the airport to
welcome home my mates when they
returned from their tour of duty," he
"This was an important part of the
healing process for all of us because
they initially feared I wasn't going to
make it home alive."
Pte D joined the Army to follow the
example of his grandfathers but his own
sacrifice has deepened his appreciation
of the Anzac spirit.
"I can say that Aussie mateship and
the spirit of Anzac are indeed very spe-
cial and is something that not too many
people can fully appreciate until they
experience what I have," he said.
With the support of other wounded
and injured ADF personnel -- among
them the Navy Clearance Diver Paul
Degelder who fought off a shark in
February -- he is making good progress
and recovering both mentally and physi-
He is optimistic about his future and
his long-term employment in the Army.
He has even started swimming with his
local surf life saving club.
Pte D said he would like to adopt a
mentoring role to help other wounded
and injured ADF personnel along the
road to recovery as a way of expressing
his thanks for the help he has received.
The cheerful digger praised the new
Army integrated framework that will
help soldiers who have experienced
severe injuries and psychological medi-
"These Army initiatives to nurse sol-
diers back into the workplace show that
the organisation cares about its people,
which underpins the real meaning and
spirit of Aussie mateship," he said.
Pte D's fighting spirit and cour-
age was saluted by champion boxer
Danny Green who invited him back to
his change-room for a talk only minutes
after knocking out boxing legend Roy
Jones Jnr on December 2.
"He had the world at his feet after
knocking out Roy Jones Jnr but he
turned his back on the media and well-
wishers to talk to me about my miracu-
lous comeback from the dead," he said
with a wink.
my life: Cdo
Optimism and mateship: Without help from his mates Pte D's future
would not be so bright.
Photo by Cpl Dion Trevillion
Parade marks end of operation
wounds included a fractured skull,
a dislocated hip, a torn spleen and
a broken kneecap.
"I recovered from my injuries
and deployed to Afghanistan last
year," Cpl Webster said.
Another participant, Sgt Santo
Madaffari, served with AATTI 8 as
a manager of Iraqi interpreters and
construction contractors. "I ended
up with the job after the two weeks
of Arabic lessons. I was the one
who picked it up the best," he said.
He really enjoyed his roles,
especially when he assisted the
interpreters to get a pay rise.
"I transferred them from a
British contract to an Australian
one, which also gave them the pay
rise," he said.
He said it was a great feeling
being a part of the parade and to
"receive the thanks the civilian
population gave us, rather than it
being just another deployment no
one cared about".
Cpl Joshua White, who was
a driver with OBG (W) 4, also
enjoyed the parade.
"I felt good marching and
something like this should have
been done for the Vietnam veter-
ans when they returned home, but
I think they did the right thing this
time," he said.
Honoured: Cpl Sarah Webster after participating
in the parade.
Photos by Sgt Andrew Hetherington
Proud: Sgt Santo Madaffari with
wife Sharon and Son Kaleb.
Hair flair: Cpl Erin Salleo, AHQ,
shows her support for White Ribbon
Day (see Page 10).
Photo by Cpl Jane Ashby-Cliffe
Links Archive November 26th 2009 February 4th 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page