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Uncle Rob Bryant
Gumbaynggirr Warrior (NSW North Coast)
Retired Leading Aircraftman, Royal Australian Air Force
Vietnam War Veteran
My sister was married to a member of the Royal Australian Air Force. I'd go out to the RAAF base at Richmond and the Vampire jets just fascinated me. When I was doing the Intermediate we went to our vocation days and I said there and then that I wanted to join the Royal Australian Air Force. So by the time that '67 came about I was finishing my Leaving, I saw mum and I signed up in the Royal Australian Air Force.
I wore my uniform with pride, in that I served Australia. It gave me a sense of comradeship, it gave me a sense of belonging, I was very happy being a part of that family.
Even though I was at an Aboriginal-only school, I was always taught by my own mum to rise above what was dished out – 'Rise above it son, don't let it get you down.' And so that was my motto in regards to life in the armed services and my life today.
There's only one person in this life I can change, and that's myself, nobody else. Whatever their attitude is that's their problem not mine.