"Keeping the Peace" – Someones Got to Do It!

A foreword Greg wrote in my book that means a lot.

As you go through life people tend to come and go. Some mates stay a short time and others are a constant & stay forever. These long term friends know a lot about you (some would say too much so you better stay close) and have shared lifes journey. If you add to that shared experience through good times and bad then you form a close bond.

A life long friend of mine is Greg Allnutt. Our paths crossed intially during sport in primary school when country schools got together in South Canterbury sometime in 1980 or 81. It wasn’t until third form and High School that we became good friends and throughout our high school years we were in the same class. We played rugby together and used to stay at each others place. He lived in the Waimate township and I came from a farm in the Hunter Hills. Good friends we were and we had a lot of fun. 
Greg was a keen outdoor lad. Fishing, hunting, camping, a great runner, a talented swimmer and a bit of a nut on the rugby field with blistering tackles. He had a great sense of humour, an angry side if pushed (and he often was) and was known to hold a grudge until such time as he could pay you back in full! He was good on his feet public speaking and did well academically. At the end of our sixth form year Greg went into the NZ Army as a Cadet. His trips home on leave and the stories he told influenced my decision to join the Army myself.
In January of 1987 I joined the Army and after year of intial training and study at University was sent for my Officer Training at the Officer Cadet School in Waiouru. Greg was also in this class as was another good school friend, Nathan Richardson. That year was a blur of leadership training, fitness, academic study and practical assessment in leadership roles in wet and cold situations that deprived us of sleep & food. We loved it (well looking  back on it). At the end of that year our paths seperated as we pursued our careers in different locations but continued to cross. I worked with Greg on promotion courses, sometimes as students together, once he was instructing, we shared a trip to Hong Kong and an operational tour in Angola (but not at the same time). We flatted together for a while, socialised together and had a similar circle of friends at various times. Over our many years as mates we have played sport together, been wet, cold and hungry, tired, partied, celebrated weddings, laughed,  & stayed in touch. Often it would be years between seeing each other.
So I wasn’t surprised when he decided to write his book because he had a hell of a story to tell. I first knew of it when I got an e-mail out of the blue seeking permission to use my photo & name. I was also stoked to be one of the first few to get a copy to read. “Keeping the Peace – A Kiwi’s Modern Conflict Experience” is a tale of Greg’s operational postings into conflict zones with the New Zealand Army. It also tells of his life leading to enlistment and some of the events along the way. I really enjoyed reading it, not just because I knew much of his story and many of those featured in the book, but because I learnt quite a lot about him. His perceptions, insights into life overseas with the Army and his reflections made it a book I read in only several sessions. 
The thing I admire the most about Greg (besides his courage to write his story) is that he is a good genuine bloke. He is a straight shooter, he has a wickedly sharp wit and most of all we can get together and have a beer after over 30 years of friendship. 
Now thats a good Southern Man and an ANZAC who has done more than his bit for service of his country. New Zealand needs more Greg Allnutts……people who don’t just talk about things, they actually go into harms way and do things to make the world a better place.
Onward Greg and thanks for everything you have taught me over the years and the example you have set.
Like this? Check these other ANZAC Stuff I have written;

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