Redlands veteran will pay tribute to soldiers for their sacrifice on Remembrance Day

Corporal Adrian Aiple in Iraq
Corporal Adrian Aiple in Iraq

A Redlands war veteran has urged the younger generations to play their part in remembering those who sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedom on Remembrance Day.

Corporal Adrian Aiple also wants youngsters to recognise the folly of war, which has seen.

Cpl Aiple served in the 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) in Iraq and Afghanistan, between 2007 and 2015.

The Young Veterans Redlands president will pay his respect at Anzac Centenary Park, Cleveland, during the minute's silence at 11am.

"It's very significant," Cpl Aiple, who is now a mechanic at Boss Customs in Capalaba said of the day.

"It's time, not just for me, but to think about others. Our forefathers who have given their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice to live in the country we live in today.

"It's free. It's a democracy. You can go outside your home and no-one's trying to kill you.

"People have fought so that we have this life that we live."

Cpl Aiple and his colleagues were tasked with protecting the Australian ambassador while he travelled between diplomatic meetings in the 'red zone' in central Baghdad.

Corporal Adrian Aiple is now a mechanic in Capalaba. Pic: Matt McLennan

Corporal Adrian Aiple is now a mechanic in Capalaba. Pic: Matt McLennan

Cpl Aiple's regiment would transport the ambassador to and from the 'green zone', the surrounding concrete walls didn't mean total safety. There were relentless attacks conducted by mobile units, often in civilian surroundings.

"That didn't stop the enemy lobbing rockets and mortars constantly into the green zone," he said.

"They were good at it. They could hit wherever they wanted. And they had the added protection of firing those weapons systems from within the populace, so we couldn't fire mortars and artillery back at them because of innocent civilians."

The 39-year-old credits his well drilled unit for keeping him from harm's way in the Iraq capital.

Some of the US troops, Cpl Aiple said, 'weren't so lucky'.

"The way we operated, we presented a bit of a harder target," he said.

In Afghanistan, Cpl Aiple and his unit trained the country's defence force from Firebase Tinsley, in the Oruzgan province.

They worked in a remote location with the American special forces.

"Everything we ate was dropped out of an aircraft," Cpl Aiple said.

Cpl Aiple knows all too well the futility of war. His grandfather, Gustav Aiple, served with the Germans in World War II.

Cpl Aiple said an experience while deployed in Darwin struck home just how futile it was. He was sitting with the German soldiers - now Australia's allies - in the mess hall, eating together.

"I thought '70 years ago, this is who we were fighting, and now we're friends," he said.

"I guess that's what happens with time and evolution."

He would like to know more about his grandfather's story. Gustav and Cpl Aiple's grandmother, Elzbeth, emigrated to Melbourne in the 1950s.

He suspects, with many of Gustav's relatives still in Germany, it would be difficult to find out more.

Like many veterans, Cpl Aiple faces a constant battle with post traumatic stress disorder.

The hyper-awareness drilled into soldiers in preparation to face combat scenarios in hostile environments can make re-adjusting to civilian life difficult.

"Sometimes the head really doesn't adjust, because it's still in that [combat] mode.

It culminated in him staying in bed, or drinking too much.

"I just didn't want to be part of the world," Cpl Aiple said.

"I was hidden away in my little cave."

He doubted he would ever make a full recovery, but Cpl Aiple has credited the top medical care he's received in helping with his recovery.

Other factors are helping.

"Time is doing its thing with the condition," he said.

"I've got to keep moving forward, and managing the best I can."

Mr Aiple's partner of three years, school teacher Louise Mostyn, has been his rock through difficult times.

"She has definitely helped with my recovery," he said.

This Remembrance Day marks the 101st anniversary of the Armistice, which ended WWI.

Following official proceedings, veterans, serving personnel, partners and carers are invited back to the Gallipoli Room at Redlands RSL.