Life at sea is definitely for sailor Kiralee Ekin, although this Bateman’s Bay local said it will be that little bit harder around Mother’s Day.
For Leading Seaman Maritime Logistic-Chef Ekin, this is the third mother’s day in a row that she has been away from her son while serving with the Navy.
Currently deployed to the Middle East region on board HMAS Toowoomba, Leading Seaman Ekin said she would be thinking of her son on Sunday.
“I am a mum to a very cheeky seven-year-old son named Cooper who is currently at home with his dad and step mum. This year will be the third year in a row that I have been away for Mother’s Day,” she said.
“He is the happiest, most caring and resilient little boy. I am super proud of him and I am missing him every day.
“Mother’s Day to me is to celebrate the unconditional love that I have for my child and a time to appreciate the love and support I received from my own mother growing up.
“I know he will be making the most of it, by spoiling his step-mum, Jess, and spending hours creating some masterpiece to give me when I get home.”
Leading Seaman Ekin said she was looking forward to returning home to spend time with Cooper.
“The things I’m looking forward to the most when I get home are his rough cuddles and spending quality time outdoors camping and doing the things he loves,” she said.
“My family are very proud of my career in the Navy and continually provide support for my son and I while I’m away and ashore.”
While she will be away from her family this Mother’s Day, Leading Seaman Ekin will be busy on board Toowoomba.
“My current role is the victualler on board. This includes ordering, storing and payment of all food rations required for the everyday running of the galley, when we are at sea and when alongside,” she said.
“I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2010 because I was looking for a career that was challenging, rewarding and different to your everyday 9 to 5 job and gave me an opportunity to meet new people and see new places.”
Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on operations overseas regularly miss important holidays and family milestones when they are away, but the support they receive from their love ones back home makes it all worthwhile.