AFTER 20 years of service in the Royal Australian Air Force, Laidley local Warrant Officer (WOFF) Rodney Amos said he could not help but stay on.
Now in his 37th year of service, WOFF Amos is on his sixth Middle East deployment, working at Australia's main operating base in the region, and aiming to hit 40 years of service before retiring.
He is deployed to Operation Accordion as is the Base Armaments Manager, Team Leader of the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Response Team and an explosive ordnance disposal technician.
"For me, being deployed on Anzac Day is like walking in the footsteps of my predecessors,” he said.
"My wife, Cath would happily have me home but she's proud of what I achieve in my job and understands my involvement with Anzac Days.”
WOFF Amos said he has not missed participating in an Anzac Day parade, even while on deployment, in 25 years.
What makes Anzac Day more interesting for WOFF Amos is his participation in parades across Australia as a Lighthorse re-enactor.
"I've been participating in Lighthorse re-enactments for over 20 years,” he said.
"Some of the parades I've been a part of were pretty impressive - the 357-horse parade, held in Canberra, for the centenary of the Boer War, for example.”
WOFF Amos said his operational deployment had provided a number of opportunities to engage with his coalition counterparts.
"This trip is a bit like coming home” he said.
"My first operational trip was in 2007, here, doing the same job.
"It's a good job, very similar to what I do in Australia.
"But there are some differences.
"We're helping dispose of life-expired British and Italian ordnance, as well as our own expired explosives, which lets me indulge in a bit of technical assessment.
"It's a good way to come up with strategies to put in my toolbox for the future.”
WOFF Amos has brought some hobbies with him and paints scale models of WWII armies during his downtime.
"I got into building scale models when I was a kid and painting these miniatures is really just an extension of that,” he said.
"It's a good stress relief - you just sit back, paint and switch off.
"When I'm doing it I don't have to think about anything, I can just concentrate on what's in front of my face.
"At my age, it really doesn't help with your eyesight though - it gets worse thanks to squinting all the time!”
WOFF Amos is one of 1700 ADF members deployed to the Middle East region.
The ADF remains actively involved in advising, assisting and training Iraqi Security Forces in Iraq, training and advising the Afghan National Defence Security Forces in Afghanistan, and undertaking maritime security operations in the Middle East region.