Former Dubbo lad and Australian Army Private Hewson Perry has swapped the Western Plains for a searing desert landscape thanks to a deployment to Iraq.
Hewson works as an infantryman, providing security and protection for Australian troops training Iraqi soldiers.
"We're out making sure everyone's safe and alright," he said.
“If anything bad was to happen you’d just think straight back to your training.”
After finishing Macquarie Anglican Grammar School in 2011, Hewson joined the Army three years later.
“I wanted the experience of getting out and seeing some more things,” he said.
“I’ve had a great time and made heaps of good mates.
“You come in and work with your mates every day, you can’t find that anywhere else.”
Hewson is posted to Brisbane as an infantryman and was only at his unit four months before the deployment.
“My family are really excited about it now,” he said.
“Mum was worried but she’s gotten used to it now and Dad’s really happy.”
Though he’s made good friends in the Army, Hewson still has good mates back home who have taken to calling each other “Barry”
“We’d say ‘Barry’s coming over for a beer’,” Hewson said
“But you’d have a whole bunch of boys over and they’re all calling each other ‘Barry’.”
Hewson said he joined the Army to get some varied experience and he encouraged people back home to do the same.
“If you’re from Dubbo and thinking of joining, I’d say ‘do it’ because you won’t regret it,” he said.
“Once you get through all the training it’s a pretty good job.”
He is due to return to Australia later this year.