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GRP 56-Co hosting for this podcast is Army veteran Tim Kolczak the man behind the Veterans Project. On with us for this podcast is Australian Special Forces Veteran Eddy Robinson. Eddy has multiple combat rotations with the 2 Commando Regiment. We discuss Eddy's career path, get into some combat stories, and honor Eddy's best friend Corporal Cameron Baird, VC, MG. Corporal Cameron Baird is the first Australian commando to be awarded a Victoria Cross and the first posthumous recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia. Corporal Baird is also the 100th Australian to be awarded a Victoria Cross. He's one of Australia’s most highly decorated soldiers of the modern era. We discuss Iraq, counter-terrorism, and Afghanistan. Below is an excerpt from the episode:


John: I'm reading about the rise and roots of ISIS. A lot of it is credited a to the Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The U.S. named him as one of the reasons for going into Iraq when he was just in charge of a small terror cell prior to that. After naming him it catapulted him into the spotlight.  Making him a major player. He then stoked the flames for a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims throwing the country into chaos.


Eddy Robinson:  My experience there was from a contracting perspective 05-06 period. Every morning before 10'o clock you hear the huge IED's being detonated. For the guys on the ground, it was relentless.  Zarqawi was the perfect catalyst for making the situation worse. We got our intelligence reports about mass graves being found on the side of the road. People being mass executed by these guys. It was a very difficult situation during that time.


Tim Kolczak: I joined in 05 I was 17. My drill sergeants were coming back from their 18-month tours. You could just tell how it affected them. We were the first trainees to get trained up by these guys. I remember the recruiter telling me not to become a truck driver because 1 in 5 was getting killed. One of the guys I knew was killed by a Somali contingent in Samarra. We were fighting people from all over the globe.


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