MISSING out on memorable family moments has been one of the many sacrifices in Jonathan Moore’s eight-month military deployment to Afghanistan.
But after another month or so ensuring the safety of Australia’s military personnel, the sharpshooter will be safe at home in Warrnambool for Christmas.
Private Moore is counting the days to his return as he serves with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Force at the multi-national base at Tarin Kot, in Uruzgan province.
At the end of his second deployment to Afghanistan, the 21-year-old will spend Christmas at home with his family and celebrating a friend’s 21st birthday.
But before the homecoming Private Moore has his work cut out for him as a marksman helping to protect military personnel, especially those involved with local community development projects.
“I provide security and close personal protection for members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team, who are assisting in the development of Uruzgan as they liaise with local officials,” he said.
Private Moore said all the time spent apart from family and friends would be worth it when he looked back at his time in Uruzgan.
“My standout memories will be going outside the wire and being able to experience the culture of Afghanistan during various missions, aimed at helping the locals and continuing the development of the province.
“I would like to say thanks to all my family and friends for their continued support and I look forward to seeing them all soon.
“I can hardly wait.
“It will be the best Christmas ever.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited Afghanistan on Monday to signal the end of the 12-year military mission, declaring Australia’s longest war had failed to secure victory.
But he declared the campaign “a job well done” and said it was time for the troops to come home.
It was the only bipartisan visit since Australia first sent troops to Afghanistan, with Labor leader Bill Shorten also attending.