Mark Don­ald­son VC: I’d go back now if I was asked to

Balonne Beacon - - VOODOO MEDICS -

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.”

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