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November 11, 2010
This was LEUT Brickacek's sec-
ond deployment to the Middle East but,
unlike the first, there was no water in
sight and the conditions were much
"The toughest situation I have been
involved with was on a patrol when we
lost two of our mates in an IED blast,"
"I was only four metres away from
where it exploded, so I consider myself
pretty lucky to still be alive.
"Being in Afghanistan has been an
amazing experience. It's a country of
extremes -- either really cold or really
hot. It's a totally different way of life;
it's something that's really hard to
explain unless you've experienced it
"The Afghans live off the land and
are lucky if they have electricity. You
need to interact with them and accept
their way of life and not judge them. I
believe we are making a difference -- it's
baby steps, but in the right direction."
Even though LEUT Brickacek has
faced some of the most dangerous situ-
ations in Afghanistan, working with his
mates in infantry, cavalry, engineers and
EOD teams has made it worthwhile.
"The best part of this deployment is
the camaraderie between the guys on
the ground. Being together, out there
doing it tough and coming back at the
end of the day when everyone is safe,
is something you never forget," LEUT
"Being a Navy person, in the desert
working alongside Army personnel, I'm
normally the butt of the jokes, but they
have accepted me really well -- espe-
cially after they've seen me do my work
and what I've been able to contribute to
the Task Force."
LEUT Brickacek finished his deploy-
ment in Afghanistan late last month and
said he couldn't wait to get back to his
"I proposed not long before I
deployed to Afghanistan and I'm stoked
that when I get home I have my wedding
in December to look forward to," he said.
"Emma has been great, organising
everything and I know it's going to be a
fantastic day for the both of us.
"It's been tough, as I've spent my
last three birthdays deployed overseas,
so hopefully I'll be able to celebrate the
next one in Australia with my new wife."
I was only four metres
away from where the
IED exploded, so I
consider myself pretty
lucky to still be alive.
-- LEUT Richard Brickacek
TOUGH WORK: LEUT Richard Brickacek exploits an IED in Uruzgan
MATESHIP PREVAILS: Unsure
of the state of his patrol mates,
LEUT Richard Brickacek runs to
their aid only seconds after an
IED detonates in Afghanistan.
and rising to the challenge...
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