Stories told by Jake Torsney’s charismatic uncle first inspired him to join the Army.
“He was an infantryman who went to East Timor,” Jake said.
“He was brave, headstrong, and courageous; there was never a dull moment with him, he always had stories.”
Now this lad from Kirwan is out getting stories of his own during a deployment to Australian’s main base in the Middle East.
He works as a receipts and issues storeman at the base’s main warehouse, handling the big deliveries coming in.
“We’ll get between four and eight massive pallets come off the plane full of stock,” he said.
“If it’s mission critical, it will go straight to the dependency, otherwise we’ll track it first and issue it on.”
“We have everything from weapon parts, vehicle parts, engines, through to little stuff like notebooks and pens.”
When not overseas, Jake is posted to Lavarack Barracks working where the tempo isn’t the same as in the Middle East.
“Over here we do the full range of our job, we receipt stock ourselves, stocktake it ourselves, manage it ourselves and issue it ourselves,” he said.
Jake finished at Kirwan State High in 2012 before joining the Army about two years later.
His mother still lives in Kirwan and was a bit apprehensive about her boy heading overseas.
“Mum was pretty scared until I explained to her that I’m not going to be out on the front lines, but she still had her mother’s instinct,” he said.
“Dad was pretty proud and they’re all happy that I’m here, but they miss me.”
Jake is due home from his six-month deployment in April and is looking forward being back to Townsville.
“It’s not got the cluster of a big city, but it’s got everything that a big city has to offer,” he said.
“I love being able to go ice skating or go down to the beach, but without the big crowded feel of a city.”
Jake is deployed on Operation Accordion, the mission to support the sustainment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations, enable contingency planning and enhance regional relationships in the Middle East Region (MER).
From Australia's main logistics base in the MER, around 400 ADF personnel provide support to Australian operations throughout the region, including Operations Okra, Highroad and Manitou.