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As ANZAC Day approaches, we are pleased and proud to be able to publish this letter from Flight Lieutenant Anthony Roe. As a serving member of the ADF, proud father, and rugby league fan, we thank him for this unique insight into ANZAC Day, admire him for the support he gives his son and our SG Ball team, and honour him for his service to his country.

To all at the Parramatta Eels,

My name is Anthony Roe, and I'm a current serving member within the Australian Defence Force (ADF), in the Air Force. I am currently serving with the Air Force lead ADF Heron detachment in Afghanistan. Heron is the Air Force's Remotely Piloted Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft.

I have served in the Air Force for 24 years and deployed several times on Operations. My current deployment has me returning home to Australia (RTA) in June this year.

When times get hard and the job gets extreme I can always, with pride, draw on the strength of knowing that I'm doing this for my family, friends and country. I am extremely proud of what I do and proud of the service I give.

Proud Parramatta fans and supporters of Lochie: (L-R) OFF Peter Roberts, FLTLT Anthony Roe, and FLTLT Tim Fuery

I do my job and I do it with pride because at the end of the day, I would rather do this so that I can give someone else the ability to fulfil their dream, like my son, Lachlan Roe, who is on contract with the Eels.

I know that when times are hard whilst on Operations, that any news from home always increases my morale, and along with talking to family, I look forward to hearing about Rugby League and, in particular, how the Eels are going.

ANZAC day is fast approaching and I know that the thoughts of all Australians will turn towards the support and well wishes of all our troops, both home and abroad. So I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your thoughts at this time.

Anthony Roe and the Air Force Heron Aircraft

I have lost mates during my career, so ANZAC day to me is a day to reflect, say a silent prayer and honour their memories.

As an Australian Air Force member in Afghanistan, please know that your team, the game, the 80 minutes of rugby league gives me a slice of normality that helps me to forget the hardship for a little while.

So I thank you, for what you give ...


Anthony Roe.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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