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14 WORLD NEWS
Army September 1, 2011
By Cpl Zenith King
NOT many people can say they
have deployed on two operations
more than four decades apart but
it's a reality for ARes Pte Keith
Moodie, 13 Bde.
Pte Moodie celebrated his 61st
birthday on July 14 shortly before
returning from a Solomon Islands
deployment some 43 years after his
time as a tank gunner in Vietnam.
Pte Moodie said he could not
compare the two operations.
"This is not a declared or unde-
clared war zone," he said.
"Vietnam was an undeclared war
and you knew going there you could
get hit because there was an active
war going on between the north and
"Here in Solomon Islands we are
peacekeeping and trying to help the
country become self reliant."
In Vietnam, Pte Moodie was a
Centurion tank gunner with C Sqn,
1 Armd Regt. During two different
incidents in 1968 and 1969 his squad-
ron was hit by land mines.
"We had our share of good times
and bad times and no matter where
you go freedom costs," he said.
"The day after the first incident
in 1968, one of my mates, Mick
Hannaford, was killed by a mine.
"The following year in Long Hai,
a guy in my tent, Jimmy Kerr, also
died. War costs lives."
After Vietnam, Pte Moodie dis-
charged from the regular army but,
feeling something was missing, he
joined the reserves in 1987 and was
posted back to C Sqn, 1 Armd Regt.
"The recruiting officer told me
they had become a reserve unit," he
"To me that was a privilege
because that is who I served with in
Vietnam and I was one of the first
guys to go in as a reserve member."
Since re-enlisting in the Army, Pte
Moodie spent time at Bandiana as
an Everyman, worked at the 2000
Olympics on Operation Gold and,
most recently, deployed to Solomon
"I've been blessed to be able to
travel around with the Army and do
different things. I've had the privi-
lege of doing things others have never
done," he said.
"The cream on the cake for me
would be to also do a Timor deploy-
ment because of what my dad went
through there during World War II.
"He didn't talk much about it but
he told me he was ambushed by the
Japanese one day and had to throw
his Bren gun away to escape and was
lost in the bush for two days."
Different deployments: Pte Keith Moodie recently returned from Op
Anode, which was the second operational deployment of his career. His first
deployment was to Vietnam in 1968 as a Centurion tank gunner with C Sqn, 1
Armd Regt, inset (file photo).
Photo by Cpl Zenith King. Centurion tank photo provided by the Australian War Memorial
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