Private Rodney Wewer
Now on rotation with the Combined Task Force 635 (CTF 635) in Solomon Islands, Private Rodney Wewer has been able to experience that close bond again on Operation ANODE.
“It’s great to be away with such a good bunch of blokes,” Rodney says.
“There’s a good mixture, older and younger fellows. We’ve all clicked and get on well.”
Rodney’s role in the section, in addition to being a rifleman, is to be a combat first aider. While his many years as a Clearance Diver have given him a great skill set to draw upon, Rodney doesn’t ‘talk up’ his background and is conscious of the old Navy versus Army divide.
“Some of the boys gave me a bit of stick about it at first but we’re all good now. After you work together for a while, everyone gets close.”
“That’s why I wanted to come away. To experience that bond again, like you do on Navy trips where you’re away for months at a time working closely with the same bunch of mates.
“That’s why I’m still a part of the ADF (Australian Defence Force) for the camaraderie and mateship. You just don’t get that in civilian life.”
Back in Australia, Rodney works with young offenders and Wards of the State as a Youth Worker with the Department of Community Services, South Australia.
Meeting the children of the local villages on the island patrol was one of his highlights.
“The kids here make their own fun,” he said.
“It was good to see innocence is not lost. It’s one of the most rewarding aspects of being here is to see these kids, how happy they are, and to see through this that RAMSI is working.”