News

Private builds skills on force

Private Matthew Sun is looking forward to returning home for a visit in Toowoomba after serving in Afghanistan.
Private Matthew Sun is looking forward to returning home for a visit in Toowoomba after serving in Afghanistan. Callum Bentley

HAVING served in Afghanistan for more than five months, Toowoomba's Private Matthew Sun has learnt a lot, and is proud to serve his country.

In just a few weeks Private Sun will return home and visit his parents Peter, Dianne and his three sisters Danielle, Nicole and Natalie in Toowoomba.

But until his tour is over, the 20-year-old is enjoying a unique experience.

Private Sun is working at Patrol Base Zafar in Uruzgan Province, where he is a rifleman in a section that mentors the Afghan National Army.

"I go out on patrols with the ANA, mentoring them and giving them guidance on things like enemy firing positions and awareness on the ground for possible improvised explosive device locations and caches," he said.

"The base is the size of a small caravan park and has all the facilities you need to get by.

"There are high mountains everywhere you look, and down in the valley there is green vegetation and then you look out into the dasht (desert) with no vegetation at all just dirt, rocks and plenty of donkeys.

"It's a pretty nice area. When we first got here the green wasn't so green, it had a little less vegetation and was bit more open, over the last few weeks we have seen an increase in the vegetation.

"The locals are really nice and the kids are cool, it's a different world."

Private Sun is part of Mentoring Task Force - Four, led by 8/9th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment from Brisbane.

Private Sun joined the army in 2010 for adventure and, he said, to build on his life skills.

"An office job is not for me. I haven't looked back," he said.

"I am proud to serve here. It is the pinnacle of my career, to represent my country."

"Afghanistan has been a good thing for me. It's made me be more culturally aware. We learn every day about their culture and it's allowed me to learn about different languages."

Even though Private Sun is living at a remote patrol base he still gets the opportunity to contact family.

"The telephones are available all the time, so I usually give mum and dad a call every few days to let them know I'm safe and well," he said. "I have a supportive family and they want me to be happy."

Topics:  defence force




More Telstra outages for the Southern Downs this week

The Telstra website shows Warwick's home phones, ADSL and NBN customers will be...

Is this the start of our Rural Renaissance?

Exports to the US have dropped 40%, China 30% and Japan 10%. China and Saudi Arabia have once more open their doors to Brazilian beef while Indonesia is now looking to Indian buffalo meat to boost its supplies

Rising prices the talk of the town as rain raises farmers’ spirits

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa