Dennis Maher
Warrwa People, Kimberley
Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Australian Army

Australian Active Service Medal
Iraq Medal (Two Tours)
Australian Service Medal
Australian Operational Service Medal – Border Protection
Defence Long Service Medal with three Clasps
Australian Defence Medal

I requested a posting and Corps that was the toughest and nobody wanted at the time and kick its ass, which I did. I then earned my stripes to Corps transfer to RAEME as an Armourer, Marine Mechanic/Marine Engineer. Fostered in 1965 by Jim and Jesse Paterson in Perth. Dad was a Vet of WW2, 9th Div 2nd 28th Battalion Infantry, New Guinea, Borneo and Sumatra. I joined the Cubs in 1972, 1st Bassendean Sea Scouts in approximately 1976, Navy Cadets, TS Perth accompanied with The Western Royal Australian Navy Band as a Drummer. In the background, I was playing Rugby League with Belmont Rabbitohs (WA Rep side against NSW Western Suburbs). Posted back to Perth SASR (SAS Regiment) and made the selection training squad for WA Amateur Australian Rules side but flunked out due to my commitments to Counter Terrorism (CT) SASR and SASR Selection course (1992).

The interesting thing about all of this is that if it wasn’t for WW2 and the Southwest Pacific Campaign this may have never happened. There is a twist, a good one though.
My Dad would never talk to Mum about the 2nd World War, at least in the presence of me, but at the time I was about 8-9 maybe 10, waiting for Mum to retire for the night so I could start rolling the beers through the freezer and wood in the kitchen stove, then Dad would start telling me what he had Felt, Smelt, Seen and endured, it wasn’t nice. I was an outlet for Dad’s sharing of what he experienced.
What Dad told me then made absolute sense when I went to Iraq, different picture but same artist. For example, for Dad at the time they were waving to each other with white Handkerchiefs and Slouch Hats when the Troop Ship let loose lines in Sydney Harbour, like I did it at Darwin International Airport, bit different but it had the same impact. Made it Home like Dad did.