Rob Elliot dedicated six years of his life to the Australian Navy from 1997 to 2003, which he remembers as a special time filled with life long lessons.
Throughout his career he was deployed off the Solomon Islands and a few in the Gulf and the coast of Nauru. Achieving the rank of leading seaman. Mr Elliot was in charge of a crew and worked as electronics technician, looking after the radars, electromagnetic logs and similar equipment.
Mr Elliot said the most significant event in his career was September 11 and that there were some similarities with COVID-19.
"It struck me to think that prior to COVID-19 the most significant event of my time was probably the September 11 attack. I was on HMAS Manoora off the coast of Nauru with the asylum seekers from the Tampa and another group we had collected from Ashmore reef," Mr Elliot said.
"It was difficult at first to believe and then understand the impact from that event. So even now we are all figuring out what exactly COVID-19 means to us.
"The spirit of ANZAC though is where we get through this kind of thing and emerge stronger because it is the spirit of coming together and looking out for our mates. We see it through events like bushfires and flood and all manner of event."
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Mr Elliot said COVID-19 would never be forgotten.
"This will be the most significant event of our time (at least we hope) and it's that act of coming together to look after one another and do what needs to be done that illustrates what ANZAC means. That's what I'll be explaining to my kids this Anzac Day," he said.
"The spirit of ANZAC is a spirit of community, mate ship and the tenacious belief that regardless of what we're up against we'll come out stronger on the other side regardless of whatever difficulty we may be facing."
Mr Elliot said best thing about being in the Navy was the friendships he formed from working with them day to day.
"The camaraderie was special and has been hard to replace since leaving.
"The most memorable Anzac Day was when we were off the Solomon Islands and our service was done around some of the World War Two wrecks. That was quite a sombre moment.
"This year given nothing is going ahead with COVID-19 restrictions I would say I just ring up some old friends who served and reminisce about the times. Then I will tell the kids a few stories about the meaning of Anzac Day and what it means to people."
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