Defence Sporting Apparel Proud Customer: Jeff Baci

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Share with us a bit about yourself.

I am Jeff, 52 years old, served for 17 years in both ARA and ARES. I was in RACT for all my time and loved every minute of it. Unfortunately I never got deployed due to the unit I was with.

I served most of my time with 26 tpt son being in 85 tpt tp. We were the ADF’s only heavy transport unit, so we were classed as a critical trade, meaning deployments were very few for us. However we did most of our work on the road; many road trips all over Australia. 

Yes, I have been around Australia many times, seen a lot and been to places most people did not know existed; I loved it. I still have a deep love for the Army and defence in general and love to support any company with veterans in mind or veteran run and owned.

Currently I work fly in fly out driving triple road trains out of Murrin Murrin over here in Western Australia, the site is located approximately 500 km east of Perth in between Leonora and Laverton right on the edge of the desert. I love my job, people are fantastic to work with, and we have a big contingent of ex servicemen and women working with us.

My direct supervisor happened to be my section commander in 85 when I was there so I got on really well with him. We have a great working relationship and equally weird military sense of humour. I love it.

I am also married with 2 children. Been married for 30 years to a very understanding and supportive wife. My oldest daughter is 27, the youngest is 20. Both great girls are neither interested in the military but that's fine, I love them. In regards to my free time, I really don't have a hobby; I just enjoy being around my family and pets.

How did you find out about DSA?

I found out about DSA on Facebook and have been following you since I saw you. Love the product even better. It's Australian and veteran-owned.

What does Keeping the Spirit Alive mean to you?

Keeping the spirit alive means a lot to me. A big part of my life was dedicated to the Army, also my grandfather was a veteran of the second war. He was a mechanic on the liberator bombers, so keeping the spirit alive is extremely important. This new generation needs to know this history— what these returning veterans did, how much they sacrificed, and what they sacrificed for this great country. I will never forget what these veterans did and what the future servicemen will continue to do. As a country, we seem to forget too soon or do not want to remember.

What is your favourite DSA shirt? 

That's a hard one. I love them all, only have one now, but the new one is out and I am ordering the Army Polo. My favourite would be the Remember Sunset Polo— very nice design. I like it a lot.

What is your idea of a perfect holiday?

Well, Bali is a place both my wife and I love dearly. We have been there at least a dozen times. I would say travelling business class to Bali, going to a 5-star resort in Nusa Dua for a 2-week all-inclusive holiday, just relaxing and enjoying each other's company and getting pampered every day.

What does 'Tribute to Heroes' mean to you?

Tribute to heroes means a great deal to me not just for our veterans but most importantly for our current serving military personnel. Both here and deployed, all play a vital role in protecting and serving our great country. Also, to the emergency and first responders who do a fantastic job but seem to be forgotten as well.

Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?

My hero was my grandfather. He was everything to me, a massive influence and a big part of my life. When he died, I felt a part of me also did. He taught me a lot; he could fix anything and do anything.

Who do I look up to now, well, there are three people I actually admire and have a huge amount of respect for. They are Mark Donaldson VC, Ben Robert Smith VC, and Huston Russell. All heroes in my book and perfect role models.

These are the three men I would love to meet and talk with one day. I have read Mark Donaldson's book and I found it remarkable and intriguing to read. A great person, very humble.

What haven't you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?

I have not yet achieved complete happiness as I stated my grandfather died 5 years ago. Not long after he died, my father died of cancer; he was a major part of my life. Then after he died, my grandmother died, and now to top it off my mum died 2 weeks ago from Alzheimer's disease, so it has not been a good past 6 years. So now I am trying to get myself back on track and sort myself out.

As far as what I want to achieve, that would be success and happiness. To achieve that would be my ultimate dream.

What is your message to our DSA community?

Get behind all our veterans, past and present. Show your support, buy DSA products as they support a great cause. They are Australian-owned and veteran-run. The more people that buy and support DSA the more veterans that receive help that is required.

Show your pride and support to our Australian Defence Force community. Check out DSA's latest and all-new Tribute to Heroes Collection.

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