Regardless of whether he’s in Australia or overseas on Anzac Day, for Gunner Kendall Breitenstein it’s about taking time to honour and reflect on those who have served in wars and modern conflicts. 

This year, a select few from Australia’s Federation Guard will participate in a dawn service at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, which will be streamed live to the public.

Gunner Breitenstein will be part of the catafalque party in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“Usually we’d conduct a number of services throughout the country and overseas, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions we’ll be the only ones here,” Gunner Breitenstein said. 

“I was panelled to represent at Villers-Bretonneux, France, which had to be called off. 

“Visiting where a lot of Anzac traditions originated and representing the Australian Defence Force in another country would have been a fantastic opportunity.”

Both of Gunner Breitenstein’s grandparents served in Air Force for a short period – his grandfather was an aircraft mechanic in the Vietnam War.

Gunner Breitenstein is the first in his family to join Army, inspired by a desire to serve his country and do more than “just your average job”.

“I’d like Australians to reflect on the sacrifice many people made back in the wars and that without that sacrifice, the country may not be as great as it is.”

Hailing from Townsville, he grew up watching or attending Anzac Day services.

“Joining Army put the commemorations into perspective with what’s happening overseas and throughout the wars,” he said.

Last year, Gunner Breitenstein participated in a dawn service and played Two-Up afterwards at an RSL. 

“This year though, I think I’ll be taking the time to contact my family who’ve served,” Gunner Breitenstein said.

“I think the #StandatDawn initiative is a great way for the wider community to feel involved in Anzac Day during this time of restrictions.”

Because the public will not be able take part in the 2020 event, he will miss feeling the Anzac spirit during the service. 

“Despite masses of people, there’s dead silence – no chattering or noise – which shows the importance and respect everyone’s giving, not only to the members that have served but also those that are serving now,” Gunner Breitenstein said.

“I’d like Australians to reflect on the sacrifice many people made back in the wars and that without that sacrifice, the country may not be as great as it is.”