Woolooware’s Sorensen family are bracing for Christmas without their loving dad, who is in the Philippines as part of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.
Tor Sorensen will miss the festive season with his wife Genevieve and children, Archer, 4, and Allyra, 2, because he has proudly answered the call of duty to help the victims of natural disaster.
Tor is a Navy Lieutenant Commander assigned to the Operation Philippines Assist maritime task group which is on board the Navy’s heavy-lift ship, HMAS Tobruk.
The former Woolooware High School student is helping the maritime task group to plan the ADF’s disaster relief effort which includes cleaning up and repairing schools in the Ormoc area of Leyte Island.
“It’s my job to do the day-to-day operational planning and organisation of all maritime force elements assigned to Operation Philippines Assist,” he said.
Tor said he will miss his family over Christmas, but he hopes they understand the important role he is playing as part of the ADF response to the deadly typhoon.
“Our participation in this operation gives us the opportunity to help the typhoon victims to rebuild their lives,” he said.
The former Southern Districts Rugby Union player has been in the Navy for 16 years and highly recommends a career in the ADF.
“The ADF provides the opportunity not only to serve your country, but to live a challenging and rewarding life with lots of friends and travel abroad,” he said.
Tor said he has already planned his home-coming.
“When I get home we will celebrate a late Christmas, to make up for the one we missed out on,” he said.
“I will have lots of stories to tell my wife and children about how the ADF helped the typhoon victims in their time of need.”
Tor is one of 500 ADF personnel deployed in support of Operation Philippines Assist who have commenced a range of tasks including road clearing and quick impact tasks such as debris clean-up in public areas.
Tor arrived on November 26 on board Tobruk, which immediately commenced recovery support operations to help the Philippines government repair the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan.