June 19, 2003


Australia’s forces in the Gulf have been welcomed home by Sydney crowds:

Claire Bibby, a solicitor, was typical of those along the route, having endorsed Australia's involvement from the beginning. "You have to have faith that John Howard did what he thought was right for the country based on the information that was given to him at the time," she said.

Able Seaman Stacey Milosevich, who had wept as she left Garden Island for the Gulf on her 20th birthday, was pleased to be home. And welcome.

"To have the community behind you is so good; it's like having a big street party with everyone embracing what you did," she said.

Anne Jongkind was in tears. "I had to come and welcome them all home, all these young people going off to protect our country," she said.

"They put their lives on the line for us and if we can't appreciate that then there's something wrong with this country."

Posted by Tim Blair at June 19, 2003 02:47 AM

Well done Mates!

While in Vietnam I had the privelage of serving on some operations with Aussie units. A force to be proud of...although I was always jealous. While we wore heavy jungle boots, most of them wore Keds©, or so I remember.

Posted by: Wallace at June 19, 2003 at 02:57 AM

send 'em to ny, tim, and we'll give them a great welcome too. we appreciate and value all they've done.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 19, 2003 at 03:25 AM

All the best to each and every one of them. We're damned lucky to have such fine allies.

Posted by: Harry at June 19, 2003 at 04:06 AM

They are indeed a fab lot who deserve every ounce of the royal carpet treatment they got today.

Posted by: Phil at June 19, 2003 at 06:35 AM

Here's to the Aussie soldiers who put their lives on the line to stand with America while so much of the rest of the world turned their backs. Good on ya, mates!

Posted by: Randal Robinson at June 19, 2003 at 07:16 AM

I was so sad that the parade happened on a day I wasn't working in the City. But my thoughts were with them. And thanks to the American posters above for the kind words about Oz.

As I always say to the anti-war types who bleat on about WMD, "honi soit qui mal y pense".

Posted by: Toryhere at June 19, 2003 at 08:42 AM

Thank you, Aussies! The majority of Americans will remember your courage and friendship for a long, long time.

I'm going to get some Foster's and tip one (or 6) back in honor of the brave Australian soldier.

Posted by: Dave at June 19, 2003 at 09:52 AM

ABC news last night reported that "many servicemen and women still hold doubts about their deployment to the Gulf" etc. The Anarcho-Bolshevik Collective coudn't let a good news story slip by without at least some gratuitous editorial fabrication. When is Alston going to pull the plug on these trogldytes? Shut down the ABC and spend the money on FA18s.

Posted by: paul bickford at June 19, 2003 at 11:26 AM

From this American:

Thank you, you amazing Australians! You've performed a truly heroic and generous act on behalf of the Iraqi people and all humanity.

In the fullness of time, all the world will hail your selfless dedication to freedom and human rights.

May you all live out your lives after your military service in good health, peace, and prosperity.


Posted by: JDB at June 19, 2003 at 02:24 PM

I wish I could have been there to thank them. The Aussies were right there when I was in Nam and they were the best then and now. I still love them even if their favorite pastime in Nam seemed to be getting us "Yanks" piss pants drunk and then painting those damn kangeroos all over our jeeps and helicopters and anything else of ours that happened to be laying around while we were passed out. I still laugh to this day over that. They also have to ahve been the friendliest, most likable people of the face of the Earth.

Posted by: Two in the Hat at June 20, 2003 at 03:13 AM

Bravo Zulu, Australia! Many thanks. I'm glad to see them safe home.

Posted by: CGeib at June 20, 2003 at 09:10 AM