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Cameron Buchanan - Heidelberg

This Father's Day, Heidelberg father of six, Australian Army Warrant Officer Class Two (WO2) Cameron Buchanan will be Skyping his family in Melbourne to say thanks for their support.

WO2 Buchanan is deployed on Operation Highroad – Australia's commitment to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

At 51 years of age, it is his fourth deployment, which he said would not be possible without the support of friends and family back home.

"Those who are maintaining the home-life in their partners' absence deserve recognition as well," he said.

"I am married to a wonderful, understanding and patient wife, who is looking after her family's business while I am away, being a mother to our children and maintaining the household.

"It's a real effort and one too easily forgotten."

While being separated from his family for six months will have its challenges, he is enjoying his deployed role as Finance Officer at Task Group Afghanistan's headquarters in Kabul.

"I provide cash services for deployed personnel and on occasion pay vendors for local procurements here in country.

"Being deployed is a fantastic opportunity to be part of something significant in an area of the world where we and our coalition partners are trying to make a difference."

WO2 Buchanan has served in the Australian Army for more than 20 years.

Enlisting at age 27 back in 1995, he was considered "old" compared to the 17 and 18 year-olds he completed initial recruit training with - in jest, they nicknamed him "Grandad".

For Cameron, joining the ADF provided direction, at a time when he needed it most.

"I joined because I was going through a bit of a hard time," he said.

"I didn't have any qualifications or trades and I thought that the Army could give me a meaningful career–I'm glad I did because it changed my life."

On graduating from initial employment training, he was allocated to the Royal Australian Army Pay Corps, something he"knew nothing about", but which turned out to be a "fantastic career".

The following years saw postings to Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Brisbane, and Canberra.

He also deployed to Timor, the Sinai in Egypt and to Afghanistan on a previous deployment in 2014.

Proud of Defence and his Army career, he said he is even more proud of the Australian community who help raise morale of deployed troops by sending letters and care packages.

"I am so proud of the Aussies who support our troops and send care packages to let us know we are not forgotten or alone, especially strangers with no family military ties."

With such strong support from both the Australian community and his own family, Warrant Officer Buchanan is confident the remaining four months of his deployment will pass by quickly.

Until then, he is looking forward to a Father's Day catch-up with his family, especially his youngest daughter, Angel, aged 9.

About 270 ADF personnel are deployed in Kabul and Kandahar as part of Operation Highroad in advisory, logistics, medical and Force Protection roles.