Ricky Davies will be a long way from his hometown of Launceston this Anzac Day because of an operational deployment to Iraq.
The 40-year old Lance Corporal is currently deployed on Operation Okra with Task Group Taji Rotation Four—a combined force of 270 Australian and New Zealand Defence personnel that has overall delivered military training to 21,000 Iraqi Security Forces.
For the coming months, Lance Corporal Davies will be based out of Taji Military Complex, providing transport and logistic support to the Task Group.
"My main job here in Iraq is transporting stores and ammunition around the training area, or to and from the flight line," he said.
"Sometimes, I'm attached to one of the training teams to assist with giving lessons to the Iraqis.
"The look of excitement and joy on the Iraqis’ faces when they see you're Australian is definitely memorable.
"They are so happy for what they have and the help they are receiving."
Lance Corporal Davies grew up in Newnham and attended Mayfield Primary, Brooks High School and Alanvale College.
Lance Corporal Davies said joining the Army in 2013 was the fulfilment of a life-long dream.
"I was awarded the best recruit in my platoon at basic training and now I'm here in Iraq," he said.
"This deployment is one of the most rewarding moments of my career.
"I enjoy the new challenges every day, jobs for different areas of the Task Group and working with people from different age groups, Corps and nations."
Anzac Day is a significant event for Lance Corporal Davies, and this year he will be celebrating it with his Anzac counterparts at a dawn service in Taji.
"I have uncles that served in the military, so Anzac Day has always been special to me," he said.
"The brave men and women who served in the past have forged the Anzac tradition before us.
"We need to show our respect to them, as well as remembering those who are currently deployed."
The support of his parents, siblings, wife and children have made the long time away from home easier to handle for Lance Corporal Davies.
"Missing family is hard but the letters and morale parcels that are received form home help to settle your emotions, and there is always someone there when you need a phone call home," he said.
"The family and I are based in Darwin these days, so I'm looking forward to getting back to the good weather for a barbecue and taking the kids out for bike rides and swimming."