Army man

Elder en­cour­ages ca­reer in mil­i­tary

Geraldton Guardian - - Front Page - Ge­off Vi­vian

The 2015 na­tional elder of the year Gra­ham Tay­lor said he would rec­om­mend join­ing the mil­i­tary to any young in­dige­nous per­son com­plet­ing Year 10, 11 or 12.

“It’s a re­ally good ca­reer,” he said.

“If they don’t know any dis­ci­pline, it will help them to bet­ter them­selves, to be­come a bet­ter per­son, more ma­ture. That dis­ci­pline that car­ries through from the navy, airforce and army, it will bring up their self-es­teem .”

Mr Tay­lor said be­ing in the army was a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence for him.

“We all had the same uni­form and we all was mates,” he said.

“Be­ing in Viet­nam 46 years ago in 1971, the young fel­lows with me in the pla­toon was very good too and we’re still friends, mates, broth­ers, and we will be for the rest of our life.”

Mr Tay­lor’s com­ments came ahead of this week’s visit by in­dige­nous de­fence force mem­bers who are in Ger­ald­ton this week to en­cour­age Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to join the Aus­tralian armed forces.

Lead­ing Sea­man Laura Frayling is a chef in the navy and Cor­po­ral Nathan Beck works as a dog han­dler with the air force.

They are con­duct­ing a De­fence Ca­reers In­for­ma­tion Day to­day and to­mor­row from 6-7pm at Ger­ald­ton Army Re­serve De­pot, 199 Lester Av­enue. “This is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for lo­cals to ask ques­tions of serv­ing mem­bers and learn more about a ca­reer in the ADF,” they said.

They will also be avail­able for in­ter­views un­til Thurs­day.

Mean­while, Mr Tay­lor said he had had a long and in­ter­est­ing ca­reer since join­ing the army at 17.

Dur­ing his Viet­nam tour of duty with the 4th Bat­tal­ion, he served for three months as a for­ward scout and four months as a stretcher bearer, where he saved at least half a dozen lives.

He was then posted to the RAAF But­ter­worth base in Malaysia for six months.

Af­ter his dis­charge, he worked for 10 years at the Main Roads Depart­ment, two years as a prison of­fi­cer and 20 years with Ger­ald­ton Street­work Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion.

Gra­ham Tay­lor, in 2015, with the plaque at the RSL Ger­ald­ton, which hon­ours the in­dige­nous men and women of the Ya­maji (Mid West) re­gion, who served in Aus­tralia’s mil­i­tary ser­vices.

Pic­ture: Gra­ham Tay­lor

Gra­ham Tay­lor and James Hawke with a pla­toon mate in Viet­nam in 1971.

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