I was deployed to Afghanistan with the 1st Royal Australian Regiment, an Infantry Battalion from Townsville. I was a Cavalry Trooper in a two vehicle patrol (6 blokes) from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Darwin. We were attached to an infantry platoon (30 blokes), along with a combat engineer section (10 blokes). We made up 3 Platoon, Alpha Company. We trained for 4 months in Townsville before deploying. When I got to 3 PL – A COY – 1RAR it was not what I had expected.
I thought the 1st Infantry Battalion would be something like our Recruit Training School. I thought there would be Soldiers marching around in files, I thought every where you turned Corporals would be yelling at Private soldiers and the battalion would be a very regimented unit. What I found was, that it was more relaxed than my Unit, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. It had more of a hardened culture about it, a culture of being the best. Every soldier wanted to be harder, stronger and fitter than the next. 1 RAR had their own gym smack bang in the middle of the Barracks and soldiers would be in and out of there all day long. Everyone fighting to be the top dog or as they where known “2nd to none”
Every ANZAC Day Daylesford CrossFit has done a Hero WOD in the morning before the dawn service. A hero WOD is a workout that has been named after and dedicated to a fallen soldier. CrossFit was taken up by a lot of people from the military. The director of the Games Dave Castro was an ex US Navy SEAL, Josh Bridges the CrossFit Games athlete was a Navy SEAL. CrossFit’ers pay their respect and honour to the fallen by doing really tough workouts in their name. This is why we have always done a Hero WOD’s on ANZAC Day before the dawn service.
ANZAC Day 2019, ex service men Private Bradley Carr (Cari) who served with the 1st Royal Australian Regiment in Afghanistan, was on the Gold Coast seeking treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD. Cari was a member of 3 platoon alpha coy and I am proud to say he was a mate of mine. When I said that the soldiers of 1 RAR wanted to be the hardest, strongest and fittest, Cari was one of the Strongest, Hardest and Fittest of the Battalion. There was no doubt Cari was as hard as nails.
On the morning of ANZAC Day 2019, as Daylesford CrossFit where doing a workout, Cari had made the decision that he did not want to live anymore and took his own life. Found alone in a Hotel room on the Gold Coast Queensland.
I can imagine that Cari felt the pressure of ANZAC day. A day where everyone would come together to pay respect and thank those who have served. But for Bradley Carr, the pain that this day brings pushed him to act on a decision to end his life.
I’m not going to pretend that I am some beacon of light for veterans. I just wanted to tell this story for anyone that would read it and I hope it can shine a light on how hard ANZAC Day day can be for some.