SELF-proclaimed nomad Rob Eade has returned to the Peel Region after travelling 47,000km around Australia to visit 183 towns and lay 614 flags for fallen soldiers.
The 73-year-old, who is currently staying in Mandurah, served in the Australian Army as a cook in 1965.
“I’ve been a nomad for 10 years, I have no home base – where I hang my hat, that’s the address for the day,” Mr Eade said.
Mr Eade said he used the Department of Veterans Affairs website to research the names of every soldier who died in conflict from Vietnam until today.
He spent the last two years riding on his trike, with his Red Heeler dog Ginge, visiting the birth place of fallen soldiers to place flags at war memorials in the town they were born.
“I stayed in motels, caravan parks, peoples houses and I was fully self-funded,” he said.
“I hold all the boys dear to my heart as well as the ones serving now.”
Mr Eade completed his first flag presentation in Collie on June 18 in 2016 and placed his last flag at Kings Park this year on June 17.
“I went to places including Bunbury, Busselton, Nannup, Albany, Norseman and Kalgoorlie in WA,” he said.
“I visited most of Victoria, then went to Tasmania, where I had 15 flags to lay out and then completed NSW.”
Mr Eade was inspired to go on this journey after becoming aware of veteran Mike Ehredt’s travels.
A marathon runner and veteran, Mr Ehredt has presented over 6000 flags within the USA, one every mile on foot, to honour soldiers who died in war.
“Mr Ehredt wrote to me after I told him about my venture and he said you don’t quit because you’re tired, you quit when you’re finished,” he said.
Mr Eade said he was proud of what he achieved.
“I’ve got my old hat I’ve had for over two years now – it’s got memorabilia on it and I’m protective of it but when I finished I threw it up in the air and said ‘I’ve done it’,” he said.