Veteran’s plan to keep Anzac spirit alive

Veteran’s plan to keep Anzac spirit alive

HIS time in the air force took him around the country and even to Afghanistan, but this Anzac Day Douglas Egan will take just a few steps on to his driveway to pay respect to his fellow service people.

Mr Egan, 31, of Springfield, served with the Royal Australian Air Force as an airfield defence guard for seven years and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013.

Family members were in the services and he had wanted to join the Australian Defence Force since he was young.

“We’ve got a very big ADF commitment in our family,” he said.

“So it was just something that I always wanted to do growing up … to join one of the services.

“My brother joined the army when he was 19, my grandfather on my father’s side was navy, my aunt was air force, my cousin is air force.”

When Mr Egan was just 17, his older brother was killed in an incident unrelated to the military.

“I wasn’t serving at the time, he was serving down in Adelaide … the army were fantastic and they provided a lot of support for my parents,” he said

Mr Egan said his deployment in Afghanistan involved extreme weather conditions and long shifts that sometimes lasted up to 20 hours.

“There was a lot of physical training in preparation to do the job if the job was needed,” he said.

“Overseas it was 12 to 16-hour shifts on a regular day.

“Sometimes you would be doing 20-hour shifts depending on what was going on at the time.

“One of the biggest things is you’re living very close with the people around you, and you form very strong friendships and bonds with those people that last lifetimes.

“I know it’s a bit of a cliche but it’s definitely true.”

Mr Egan will mark this Anzac Day by observing a minute of silence in his driveway at 6am.

“It’s not about all congregating in one particular area, it’s about that Anzac spirit … to me it’s a very symbolic message,” he said.

RSL Queensland president Tony Ferris said the RSL was calling on all Australians to do the same on their balcony, veranda or driveway.

“Every Australian should get out on their driveway to remember those who have given it all for us in the past and those who will be giving it for us presently,” he said.

RSL Queenslandhas a link on our website which people can activate at 6am and goes through the whole order of service, including the minute of silence.”

Mr Ferris said the pandemic had presented challenges, including having to move RSL Queensland services online.

“I think people will have a different understanding on Anzac Day after this year,” he said.

“Is COVID-19 bad? Yes it is, but I think it is going to bring Australians together.”