Behind the frontline

Rarely do we learn about the people in the background quietly giving their support.

Sergeant Matt Schiller was one of many who play an essential role in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

He worked as an army communications technician and later performed the same role in the air force.

Sgt Schiller is currently a reservist, but he is considering rejoining full-time.

He misses the mateship he experienced for more than 20 years.

To him, Anzac Day is about remembering the fallen and what they have done.

�It�s recognising those who have paid the ultimate price,� he said.

Sgt Schiller would also like people to recognise the men struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

�There are those who have passed away in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder,� he said.

�It�s quite a problem, but I�m not the expert.

�I think they recognise it now better than they did.�

Sgt Schiller said the level of respect for Anzacs has increased considerably compared to when he first signed up for the army.

�When I first joined, I think people just liked having the day off (Anzac Day),� he said.

Sgt Schiller comes from a military background.

His grandfather was a navigator and flew bombers in World War II.

His first cousin was in the regular army and died in Vietnam.

When Sgt Schiller joined the armed forces, it was during a relatively peaceful time for Australia.

�In 1993 it was a different world, I joined a peace time army,� he said.

�Australia was involved in Timor in 1999 and most people have got out since then.

�I stayed in because I liked the lifestyle and the mateship.�

Sgt Schiller took part in Operation Slipper twice; first in 2003 for several years and a second time ending in 2007.

His time in the Middle East was spent in a supportive role in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sgt Schiller joined the army at the age of 17, under the army apprentice scheme. Today, recruits are required to be 18 years or older.

He is currently employed as a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) worker.

He said unlike many partners, his wife did not mind him working FIFO and being a reservist.

While some families complain about the FIFO lifestyle, the Schillers appreciate Matt has more time at home with their children.

On Anzac Day, he will participate in the commemorative march through Mandurah and is looking forward to catching up with service men and women.

�I�ve made friends at the RSL,� he said.