Tribute from Greg’s Brother, Steven

This tribute was read to mourners gathered at Greg’s Funeral.


With only one and a half years between us, Greg and I always enjoyed playing together as children. I have many fond memories: of playing armies, wrestling… of rubbing dirty socks in each other’s faces. We used to play soldiers as kids, Greg as the commando, me as the air force pilot. Still, even though Greg was my younger brother, I looked up to him because of his strength of mind and character, his determination, and his self-assurance that was never arrogant and always humble.

I always looked up to you Greg, but at no time more than when you first joined the Australian Defence Force. I was so proud of you, of what you chose to do, to honour, to serve, and to protect. In joining the army you had become my hero – even if you used to come home and bag the Air Force. Later, when you made it into Special Forces, I was completely lost for words. When someone is already your hero, how on earth could they possibly get any better? You can’t supersize a hero.

You were my best friend. It was always so comfortable to hang around you – just to be in your company. Your mere presence would cheer me up and make me laugh. We always had our own private in-jokes, where we could communicate so much with just one word, a gesture or a look in each other’s eyes.

You were always so very humble about your military service, even when you beat the odds and were amongst the select few who made it into Special Forces. You never sought to blow your own trumpet, but because I thought you were so awesome, I took it upon myself to blow it for you. Even though you may not have approved, you knew how excited I was, and so you let me have my fun boasting about your achievements, despite the embarrassment this caused.

You came home from every exercise or deployment to face a gauntlet of excruciatingly pedantic questions about every little aspect of what you’d been up to. Whereas anyone else would have told me to shut up and stop pestering them, you showed the patience to answer every intricate and detailed question – subject to operational security, of course.

I would like to thank the Department of Defence for the care they have shown to our family. The army took Greg and all of us into their family; the Special Forces community and their efforts deserve special mention – they are protective, loyal, fraternal, supportive, and genuine. Greg was proud to be associated with them.

Greg – We all know how much you loved this country. Now you know how much this country loves you.