Growing up in North Brisbane, Corporal Ryan Massingham saw Defence Force members march on Anzac Day through the city year on year until he, too, had the honour of representing No. 33 Squadron after joining Air Force in 2016.
On April 25 this year, however, he will be staying indoors watching the live stream of the Australian War Memorial service on TV and keeping connected with his friends and family.
"I’ll be calling workmates and checking in," Corporal Massingham said.
"Anzac Day is a time to pause and reflect on past and present conflicts, as well as reach out to those members who are away from their loved ones on current operations.
"It’s time for us to connect on shared experiences and keep the Australian way of mateship strong."
Corporal Massingham’s pathway to become a crew attendant was through the gap year program when he graduated high school – now he regularly flies over familiar places in Queensland from his childhood.
"I’ve had so many opportunities to travel since I joined and I’ve been lucky to see some parts of the world that would never be visited by everyday Aussies," he said.
"Each day is different flying with the KC-30A multi-role tanker from RAAF Base Amberley – sometimes we are transporting VIPs and other days we are air-to-air refuelling F-35 Lightning aircraft or C-17A Globemasters.
"A rewarding mission for this year was our support to Operation Bushfire Assist.
"I was talking to the firefighters we flew from Sydney to Melbourne and back, and it was so humbling to hear what it was like on the ground for them and understand how we fit into the puzzle."