Dennis Maher
Warrwa People, Kimberley
Australian Regular 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, and 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 Bn Inf. New Guinea, Borneo and Sumatra. I joined the Cubs in 1972, 1st Bassendean Sea Scouts in approx. 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 and made the selection training squad of the WA Amateur Australian Rules side but flunked out due to commitments to Counter Terrorism (CT), SASR, and the SASR Selection course was mingled in with it (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 presents of me, but I was at the time 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 and 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, they, the Dads of the time were waving to each other with white Handkerchief’s and Slouch Hats when the Troop Ship let loose lines in Sydney Harbour, I did it at Darwin International Airport, bit different but it had the same impact. Made it Home like Dad did.