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Chris Perry - Maryborough

Former Maryborough lad Chris Perry used to fix IT problems over the telephone, now he sees to things in person as a telecommunications technician serving with the Army in Afghanistan.

Chris graduated from Maryborough Regional College in 2004 and then worked on the help desk for a printing company for several years.

After this, he worked several odd jobs before joining the Army in 2013.

"Working on a help desk, I was mainly doing the application side of things, but I always wanted to learn the backbone; the network, the routing, the lines.

Chris now manages communications hardware for the Army in Afghanistan.

"My job is to provide our IT services back to Australia so people have their network connectivity to do their jobs," he said.

"We use satellite systems and terrestrial links to provide communications to our users in Kabul."

Chris is posted to Townsville where he lives with his wife and two young children, but likes to visit his family in Maryborough.

"I like that atmosphere, because it's such a small town, everybody is always friendly, not like in a big city," he said.

"Back home everyone knows your name and they'll always acknowledge you."

Chris's parents are proud of their son but were a bit apprehensive about him deploying

"My Mum isn't a fan of it, she didn't want me to go; I suppose she's just being a mum, but Dad's pretty proud."

Chris said the highlight of his deployment was the chance to do his job on a military operation overseas.

"I'm doing the job I've been training to do for a few years now; instead of doing a lot of field exercises preparing for an operation," he said.

For anyone in Maryborough not sure of what to do for a career, Chris said the Army was a good option.

"It's not easy to join up, but you get job security, we're well looked after, you exercise almost every day and the camaraderie is amazing. You don't always get that in the civilian world."

Chris is due back in Australian in April at the end of his six-month deployment.

He is deployed to Afghanistan as part of operation Highroad, Australia's mission that supports the NATO-led train, advise and assist mission called Resolute Support which has replaced the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.

Around 300 ADF members from the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Air Force and Defence civilians are deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Highroad.