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Anzac Day: Swans fan relives Army service

Zachary Gates  April 24, 2018 4:08 PM

Anthony Davis with his signed Swans guernsey will serving in Iraq.

Anthony Davis with his signed Swans guernsey will serving in Iraq.

The spirit of Anzac Day can be summed up by the words of an Australian Army serviceman and true-blue Swans fan. 

Club member Anthony Davis served as a military trainer in Iraq and said he was “proud to serve Australia”.

The 29-year-old had a strong hunger to fly the national flag and threw his hand in the air for Australia in 2015. 

Davis says Anzac Day is a time to recognise those who have served.

“Anzac Day is all about remembering the effort and sacrifices of the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli as well as those who have served since under the spirit of the ANZACs,” Davis said. 

“The meaning of the word ANZAC has changed over time, firstly representing the soldiers on the shores of Gallipoli, to nowadays being a spirit representing unity, loyalty and mateship, that all Australians use for inspiration.

“For me it’s a matter of recognising our forefathers that fought at Gallipoli and the World Wars, but also my family and friends who have served since and are deployed today.”

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Anthony (left) with two friends at the 2014 AFL Grand Final.

The Brisbane resident served as part of the Building Partner Capacity training mission, which saw Australian and New Zealand personnel train the Iraqi forces before they were deployed to continue the fight against ISIL.

The mission drew the services of about 300 Australian Defence Force personnel and about 100 members of the New Zealand Defence Force.

The aim was to help the Iraqi government prepare to combat ISIL and regain control of its territory. 

Davis delivered training in basic soldiering, shooting and medicine and said being deployed to Iraq was the highlight of his career.

“Everyone joins with the goal of serving their country overseas as soon as they can,” Davis said.

“I had to wait a little bit longer than some others, so I was very happy to get my opportunity and deliver training to assist the people and government of Iraq.” 

Davis trained for three years at the Australian Defence Force Academy and for one at the Royal Military College, also known as Duntroon.

He was then posted to Darwin where he was in charge of a 30-man troop that carried out maintenance of the M1 Abram tanks. 

The Swans tragic became a fan in year 10 when an Aussie rules clinic was run at his high school in Cronulla.

He had grown up on soccer and started playing Aussie rules when he joined the Australian Defence Force Academy Rams Football Club.

He represented the Australian Army at four Australian rules football carnivals and competed for the ADF in 2014 and 2016. 

“We were representing more than just a guernsey,” Davis said.

“There’s years of history and culture behind you, rather than just the 22 blokes on the field, and that’s what makes representing the Army such a highlight.”

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