After serving 21 years in Air Force, Corporal Michael Linke, a Loadmaster at No. 37 Squadron at RAAF Richmond, is planning to commemorate Anzac Day in his own way this year. 

“I suspect I’ll be wearing uniform and doing a small ceremony with family in the alleyway behind my house,” Corporal Linke said. 

“After that it’s not clear yet, but I’m sure it will be a day spent as close to the enduring Anzac Day traditions as we can get given current conditions. 

“It’s a day to both honour and reflect on those who lost their lives in World War I, and to remind ourselves of the very things we as Australians value and hold dear.

“It’s these things that our fellow Australians have fought and died to preserve.” 

Originally from Darwin, Corporal Linke joined Air Force in 1999 as an air surveillance operator, then became an air intelligence analyst before completing loadmaster conversion training to fly with the C-130J Hercules. 

Most recently, Corporal Linke was involved in Operation Bushfire Assist flying personnel and equipment into and out of fire-affected areas and support bases.

“We transported firefighters in and out of Port Macquarie, vehicles and personnel from RAAF base Townsville and Williamtown to East Sale,” he said.

“We also flew vehicles into Merimbula, Papua New Guinea Defence Force personnel and equipment from Lae in PNG to Melbourne, and Australian Army 5th Aviation support up and down the East Coast.

“The experience I gained during these missions has been valuable and rewarding.”