Mark Donaldson VC: I’d go back now if I was asked to
MARK Donaldson was the first Australian awarded the Victoria Cross in almost 40 years but the former Special Forces Operator claims life before his 15 years in the military was ordinary.
The decorated corporal sat down with News Corp while filming the Voodoo Medics.
After joining the ADF in 2002, Donaldson was deployed overseas 11 times – seven tours of Afghanistan, two to East Timor and two to Iraq.
“Before that I was pretty much a professional bum,” he said. “I used to chase the snow and surf around the world ... before that I did a lot of labour work and labour hire.”
Donaldson remains sentimental about his time in the army and would easily return to his former role despite discharging in 2017: “My love of the job is huge. I still love it today, I’d go and do it right now if I was asked to.
“It’s unpalatable for people to say, ‘You know what? I actually enjoyed that’. However I still stand by the fact that I enjoyed it, I loved it and a lot of us did, we really did and I don’t think we should ever be ashamed of that.”
Donaldson was wounded in action twice and has publicly praised the combat medics he served with in Afghanistan.
“They’re there to save our lives. There are not many other jobs like them in the military that are so critical when that time comes,” Donaldson said.
“It’s not just the military side that they’re doing, they’re always doing this humanitarian element as well, which is something really unique to the medic role.
“To be able to help someone out and fix them up regardless of who they are, there’s something really special about that and I take my hat off to them to be able to do that.”