Our People in SAJay Wearne - Back to the Middle East
Berri’s Jay Wearne joined the Army straight from Glossop High School in 2006. He got a Australian Active Service Medal and a defence force commendation during his time in Kuwait, and he’s already heading for his second AASM.
Soon Private Jay Wearne, 22, will be one of 1550 Australian soldiers in troubled Uruzgan province who will be helping to train Afghan soldiers and restore peace and stability.
“I’ve specialised as a driver, so I’m qualified to drive most heavy vehicles,” said Jay. “That includes the armoured Bushmaster, which we use to move soldiers and supplies around safely.
“In Afghanistan my job will be to help re-supply the rest of the battle-group by road. That includes fuel, water, ammunition and rations. Things always change so the key thing is to stay flexible – adapt and overcome, as they say round here.
“We’ve been preparing for this for the last few months, practicing convoys, pushing ourselves to be ready. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard.”
John and Sharon Appleby, Jay’s step-dad and his mum, know that it’s part of his job but have the usual worries.
“They will probably hug me to death like they did last time,” said Jay. “They are the first people that I’ll have a beer with when I get back.”