Mum on tour of duty

Sgt. Losalini Tadulala prepares her luggage at the Blackrock military camp in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

SERGEANT Losalini Tadulala is leaving Fiji’s shores for peacekeeping duties in the Middle East.

The mother of two successfully completed a gruelling three-week pre-deployment training at the Blackrock military camp in Nadi where close to 170 troops had been billeted for six weeks.

Of her third overseas deployment, Ms Tadulala said, while grateful that the training had come to an end, the real test was ahead.

“I am relieved that the pre-deployment training has been concluded. It has been a challenging and strenuous one,” she said.

“I am thankful for the comradeship and teamwork that we achieved together.

“This was not an easy task especially being a female in this male institution.”

The soldier whose been with the RFMF for 12 years said the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) would be her second stint and third Middle East deployment.

“I served for UNAMI for six months on the first tour and then I was deployed to Lebanon for another six months.

“This will be my first tour where I’ll be away for 12 months.”

She said while being a UN peacekeeper brought great pride for any soldier, for a mother on deployment, the missions proved to be a challenging one.

“It is challenging especially being a mother. I have two boys and I miss them every day.

“I also think about the responsibilities that my husband has to take on. He has to shoulder the responsibility of being a mother and father to my two kids while I’m away. I’m very grateful to him for supporting me.”

She said the tour ahead would be her longest spent away from family.

“I look forward to this tour especially being part of the special contingent going to UNAMI.

“I’m looking forward to concluding the mission on a positive note and heading back home after 12 months.”

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