For Iraqi-born Australian Army soldier Corporal Fadi Jabbori, his deployment to the Taji Military Complex evokes memories of his past.
The Wetherill Park man was born in Baghdad and his deployment to Iraq with Task Group Taji 9 in July returned him to his place of birth for the first time in almost 25 years.
Corporal Jabbori and his family fled war-torn Iraq in 1995 in search of a better life. The Jabbori family initially settled in Brisbane before moving to western Sydney in 1999.
“Dad took me to an Army recruiting display when I was 13 and I remember asking him to translate for me. I told the soldier that when I grow up and speak English, I wanted to do what he was doing,” Corporal Jabbori said.
“It was my dream to join the Army.”
His dream became a reality in 2004 when he enlisted. With his family’s support and individual perseverance, he learned English, adopted the culture of his new home and graduated from high school.
“I took the oath to defend Australia, the country that has supported me and given me a fair go,” he said.
Corporal Jabbori is an infantry section commander with the 4th/3rd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, based at Holsworthy, and first deployed to East Timor in 2013.
Six years later, Corporal Jabbori is now on his fifth operational deployment, this time as a trainer with Task Group Taji 9.
“Every day in Iraq has a memorable feeling for me. I imagine what it would have been like 30 years ago,” he said.
“I feel honoured to return to my place of birth – to help rebuild, mentor and assist the Iraqi Army to protect its borders and national interests.”