Some of you may know that I've spent a goodly amount of time in Australia, mostly i went there to work on one of my oldest friends cattle stations, but also did some back packing.
My old mates name is Bruce, (who'd'a thought that eh?)
He, like me, was once a military man, and most evenings we'd sit out on the veranda after a hard days yakka watching the sun settle down, the roos and wallabies bouncing around out by the lake, we'd both be armed, not only with pistols (You never know when a mob of pigs might wander by the end of the garden or a brown snake might join you on the veranda....), but also with a bottle of whisky and a pack of coke cans, and thusly lubricated our vocal chords would last the many many hours of talking carp and going over our exploits during the glory days of our army careers.....
Now, it was usually the case that we would be ghosted by the little streak of pish that was Darryl, Bruce's son. He would sit quietly listening to the two old farts, absorbing all the tales and yarns like a sponge, and in the latter trips would even pose questions about certain things, very in depth questions sometimes, ranging from how a section is broken down to how it's deployed etc etc and many other little questions.
I was also tasked with showing him the ropes of shooting and hunting, and i well remember one evening when he was 13 going out on his own on the quad with my old .303, he got a few miles away into the bush and got into a mob of pigs on his own, he dropped 6 of them and came home with 4 rounds in the mag (10 shot mag).
We'd spend a few hours over the course of a trip doing pairs fire and manoeuvre out in the bush, all very low level infantry tactics, not going over the top, just as a laugh! And why not, we had the room and the ammo, and nobody within 15 miles at the very least of where we were!
Anyway, cut forward to this year, and the child i taught a few tricks to is now a commisioned officer in the Royal Australian Regiment. During training he was promoted as the youngest ever BSM (Battalion Sergeant Major), an internal rank structure in their equivalent of Sandhurst, and he also won the sword of honour as the best overall student on the course.
So from scruffy little bush brat to this in 18 years:
Later on was prize giving:
What can i say?