Third Mother’s Day away for Navy mum

This article has photo gallery Published on FLTLT Chloe Stevenson (author), LSIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Toowoomba (F156)

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kiralee Ekin holds a letter from her son on the forecastle of HMAS Toowoomba during a six-month deployment in the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU. (photo: LSIS Richard Cordell)
Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kiralee Ekin holds a letter from her son on the forecastle of HMAS Toowoomba during a six-month deployment in the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU.

Life on the sea is definitely for sailor Kiralee, although this Bateman’s Bay local said it will be that little bit harder around Mother’s Day.

For Leading Seaman Maritime Logistic-Chef Kiralee Ekin, this is the third mother’s day in a row that she has been away from her son whilst serving with the Royal Australian Navy.

Currently deployed to the Middle East region on board HMAS Toowoomba, Kiralee said that she will be thinking of her son this Sunday.

“I am a Mum to a very cheeky seven-year-old son named Cooper, who is currently at home with his dad and step mum. This year will be the third year in a row that I have been away for Mother’s Day.

“He is the happiest, most caring and resilient little boy. I am super proud of him and I am missing him every day.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kiralee Ekin on the forecastle of HMAS Toowoomba during a six-month deployment in the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU.

Leading Seaman Maritime Logistics - Chef Kiralee Ekin on the forecastle of HMAS Toowoomba during a six-month deployment in the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU.

“Mother’s Day to me is to celebrate the unconditional love that I have for my child and a time to appreciate the love and support I received from my own mother growing up.

“I know he will be making the most of it, by spoiling his step mum Jess and spending hours creating some masterpiece to give me when I get home.”

Kiralee said she was looking forward to returning to Australia to spend time with her son when her deployment is over.

“The things I’m looking forward to the most when I get home are his rough cuddles and spending quality time outdoors camping and doing the things he loves.

“My family are very proud of my career in the Navy and continually provide support for my son and I, while I’m away and ashore.”

While she will be away from her family this Mother’s Day, Kiralee will be busy on board HMAS Toowoomba.

“My current role is the Victualler on board. This includes ordering, storing and payment of all food rations required for the everyday running of the galley, when we are at sea and when alongside.

“I joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2010 because I was looking for a career that was challenging, rewarding and different to your everyday 9-5 job and gave me an opportunity to meet new people and see new places.”

Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on operations overseas regularly miss important holidays and family milestones when they are away but the support they receive from their love ones back home makes it all worthwhile.