I work in a field where you do your best not to draw attention to yourself. Losing the accent is one way I blend in. Has nothing to do with loyalty or disloyalty. It’s about survival.
What do you miss about living in Australia?
Friends and the water.
True, not sure I can see the Kid munching on a Witchetty Grub for a snack ;-D
How do you balance your love for the country you grew up in and the one you now love and serve?
I was born in the States and lived here till I was five, then moved to Oz, so I’ve actually spent more time in the States. All the same, I’m proud of my diverse heritage. I don’t get the bashing of one country over another. We’re all here to help each other, right? So what’s the point of wasting energy on saying one’s better than the other? I don’t feel my loyalties are divided in any way. I’d give my life for both countries. Perhaps it’s more about who I am than what country I’m serving. I’m a fighter, so being a soldier, whether one with the ANZAC spirit or American.
Now, you know as well as I do the Australian soldiers’ larrakin reputation, that goes back to the ANZACs of WW1. Did the SEALs beat it out of you?!! Tell us one thing you got away with during training?
Beat it out of me? Not sure that’s possible, although getting through BUDs wasn’t exactly easy—and there’s no mucking around. They’re breathing down your neck, waiting for you to blunder. I’m not really into the competition between the two countries and forces. Having spent almost equal time between the two, I see the strengths and weaknesses of both. A SEAL is who I am and what I do. I take pride in that.
Where is your favourite place in the US?
Right where I am—seriously, I choose to be happy where I am. Dad lived up in Washington state before I headed to Michigan for boot camp, and I really loved it up there. Since he’s the only family I have outside of my sister, that’s my favourite place if you had to pin me down to one location.
I know you don’t have favourites but which of the team has made a impact in your life?
I think each man has had an impact in a different way. And I’m not really one to pull the “favourites” thing—if you can tell from my earlier answers about countries-though, I’m very loyal to my team. These men are some of the best I’ve encountered, and though I’m a late add-in, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Since Max and I are both SEALs, there’s a natural blood there. He gets me. I get him.
Shortly after I based here in Virginia, I joined a local cricket club. It’s a pretty solid team. I tried to get Midas to play—he’s too stuck in his ways with baseball. When I asked Legend about learning footy, he mumbled something about having assets to protect.
What is the best thing about your job?
The adrenaline. There is nothing like going flat chat in a mission. I’ve felt since my dad brought me back to the States that I had a purpose to protect. It started with my kid sister, Narelle, and it mushroomed from there.
I have the SEAL insignia—the Trident—on my left shoulder, closest to my heart because I fought hard for that right, and the Southern Cross on my right shoulder blade.
Thanks for being a good bloke and sharing about your heritage
You really must get the team Down Under for some relaxation between missions, John. Aladdin and Midas can surf to their hearts’ content, Max can ride the Great Ocean Road on a motorbike, Cowboy can check out some of the world’s greatest horseflesh, the Kid will get a personal tour of wherever he wants to go and Legend can wrestle a croc, just for fun 😉
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