NORTH BURNETT REMEMBERS
Mate’s tragic passing makes occasion more significant for Greg Eisel
THE significance of Remembrance Day has grown for young army veteran Greg Eisel after he lost a close friend in service of their country.
“I was 19 when I enlisted, I’m 27 now, I remember in high school it was a big day that we sort-of understood but I was just a kid at the time,” Mr Eisel said.
“After I enlisted, I gained more appreciation for days like today and went overseas where I spent an Anzac Day in the desert of Afghanistan right after we had just lost people.”
The late Sapper Jacob Moerland and Mr Eisel were close friends who enlisted together – Eisel was on tour with Moerland when he was killed in combat.
“That was hard: Coming home when one of my best friends that I joined with died. When we got back, all the emotions of a day like today just intensified.
“The feelings you get from Remembrance Day hit even harder now,” Mr Eisel said.
That is what November 11 signifies for Mr Eisel.
“For me today isn’t so much about the people currently serving or who have served and retired,” Mr Eisel said.
“It’s about remembering those people, those soldiers we lost in the years gone by.
“There are different levels but anyone who has done any type of service tends to gain a new appreciation.”
Mr Eisel stood alongside army reservist Stephen Adams and made mention of the uniting force of the day.
“If you can get a friendship started between reserves and regulars, then it’s a pretty good sign,” Mr Eisel said.
“Days like today are for all armed forces and anyone who has served: I’ll associate with Navy and Air Force, that friendly rivalry is put aside.”
The memory of Jacob Moerland and his sacrifice continues to play an important role.
“It’s sad that Jacob had to pay the price but because he was from Gayndah and was a young guy it helps the younger people understand.
“It was my first loss, not my last, so I will always remember Jacob and the others.” More Remembrance Day coverage on page 10.