Change of Anzac Day scenery for Repton's Captain Palmer
THIS year Anzac Day will be very different for veteran Captain Emma Palmer who is a familiar figure at the Dawn Service in her hometown of Repton.
Capt Palmer is currently deployed in Iraq with Task Group Taji Rotation Four - a combined force of Australian and New Zealand Defence Force personnel training Iraqi Security Forces north of Baghdad for Operation Okra.
There are about 300 Australian and 100 New Zealanders in the task group.
Over the next few months Capt Palmer will be based at the Taji Military Complex, working in the Anzac military hospital as a nursing officer.
"It is a real privilege to be working as part of an Anzac establishment in Taji and something that is especially poignant on Anzac Day,” she said.
"Morale in our task group is good - we're glad to be here assisting the Iraqis so they can restore stability and security to their country.”
In previous years, Capt Palmer has been a familiar face at the Repton Dawn Service. But this year she'll be working on Anzac Day.
"Our job here is to ensure the hospital is prepared for anything from a sports related soft tissue injury to a major trauma.”
"We are proud to be doing that alongside our Kiwi counterparts in support the men and women who are here training Iraqi soldiers and police.”
As a Repton local, Capt Palmer joined the Army Reserve in 2007 while working as an ICU nurse in Coffs Harbour.
Since then, she has previously deployed to Afghanistan and is now in Iraq in support of Task Group Taji 4's Building Partner Capacity.
"Being away from home is a part of military life and I am thankful to my family and my community for the constant support that they provide.”
"Although I will miss the great Anzac spirit that exists in Repton on Anzac Day, I know that what we are doing here is really making a difference both here and at home.
"Repton and Mylstom have developed a great tradition of commemoration and remembrance and I feel honoured to be part of that tradition - I'll be thinking of everyone at home from here, in Iraq.”
Capt Emma Palmer said her task group would have a commemorative service in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Middle East.