Danny Blomeley's story
Danny Blomeley joined the Australian Army when he turned 17, after completing his leaving certificate at school. He remembers having wanted to join the army from the age of 12. Television shows like The Sullivans and the film Gallipoli only increased his fascination with the idea of joining the army.
After initial training, Danny entered the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and became an armoured crewman.
Danny was 23 years old, a corporal and an instructor at Corps Training Wing at the School of Armour when he had the opportunity to deploy to Cambodia. He spent 6 weeks at Randwick in Sydney, undertaking what he recalls as being thorough pre-embarkation training.
Danny arrived in Cambodia just after the elections in May 1993. He was a part of the last Australian contingent in Cambodia as part of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) mission.
After arriving in Phnom Penh and spending a short time there, he moved to the province Kampong Speu where he spent a month with a troop detachment. Then he was sent to the Cambodia-Vietnam border on the Mekong River, at a location called Charlie Victor three Mike. Here, Danny spent 5 months as part of a small communications detachment. His role was to observe, patrol and staff a checkpoint.
While serving on the Cambodia-Vietnam border, Danny got to know some of the local people and customs. He also witnessed the appalling outcome of banditry along the Mekong River.