Awesome gesture from serving Aussie soldiers
A Semaphore veteran fighting brain cancer has received acts of kindness all the way from Afghanistan and Iraq, after a keepsake of his time serving overseas was stolen.
Private Matt Williams, who served in Afghanistan with the Australian Army, was diagnosed with brain cancer in March and will start his ninth round of chemotherapy today.
Since his diagnosis, the 22-year-old has held 2km tyre flip challenge events around the country, raising money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
Pte Williams has raised more than $52,000, but in October his fundraising effort experienced a sour note after an event at Semaphore beach.
"I have a camouflage Australian flag that I had made when I was in Afghanistan and I took it to the event at Semaphore and hung it up at the end with some cable ties," he said.
"But when I was clearing everything up I noticed some cut cable ties and the flag was gone."
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Flip By Flip, Day By Day As Many of you know, I start My Ninth round of chemo tomorrow, means I've been on Chemo now for 301 days what has taught me a lot about myself. it's been going for what seems like forever. But the End is only 4 months away for Me! Tyre is 100kg #fuckcancer #crushchemo #willysanswertocancer #flips4brains #flipsforbraincancer #flipsforbrains
Pte Williams said he had engaged a local tailor while he was on tour to make the camouflage flag, which he carried with his body armour and hung above his bed.
"It has a lot of value to me, it was a one-off made by an Afghan tailor," he said.
Pte Williams said he was so shocked that his flag was missing that for weeks he believed one of his friends had taken it as a joke.
"Once I realised it wasn't a joke I was pretty angry," he said.
"I couldn't believe that someone would take it."
After some of Pte Williams' fellow servicemen and women found out about the less-than-impressive act, they took matters into their own hands.
On Wednesday, he received a shipment of camouflage flags from Iraq and Afghanistan, which came as a complete surprise to him.
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The Most wholehearted Fuck You to the person who Cut the Cable ties and STOLE my Multi-cam Flag (that i had made when i was in Afghanistan) off the finish line at my Brain Cancer Fundraiser, In Semaphore S.A. where I raised $52K for Brain Cancer research. BUT I have the best brothers and sisters out there who have sent me out of the blue replacement Flags. A special thanks too the guys who sent them all the way From Afghanistan and Iraq. Plus a huge thanks to the Politician who sent me this HUGE flag from Canberra. I can't thankyou all enough #aussiepride #patriot #fuckcancer #crushchemo
A politician, who Pte Williams said declined to be named, also sent a large Australian flag.
"It was pretty amazing," he said. "The boys in Afghanistan and Iraq made it up especially for me."
Pte Williams will continue to hold events raising money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation this year.
He details his battle on his Instagram page @willy.beating.cancer.