The Navy Diver’s interview with Australian war hero Warrant Officer David Simpson
We put Australian war hero David Simpson in the hot seat right in Surfers Paradise in Queensland for an exclusive one on one video chat about his life, the catalyst for joining the Australian army, and his experience with dogs in the military world. David is a former army veteran who has served the Australian military for 21 years. As a former dog trainer in the Army, he has spent over 18 years training dogs in obedience, agility and scent detection as an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) handler. During David’s last nine years in the Army, he deployed to Afghanistan five times as part of a Special Operations unit.
At the time, David was the dog trainer and handler to Sarbi, an exceptional dog who became Australia’s most recognised canine war hero. During a gruelling nine-hour battle, Sarbi a black Labrador-Newfoundland cross disappeared on September 2, 2008 when Australian special forces were ambushed in a heated battle with the Taliban while on patrol with US and Afghan troops in Uruzgan province. Although wounded, Warrant Officer David Simpson is one of several Australian war heros who live to tell the tale.
Watch Part One below
In Part Two, Warrant Officer David Simspon takes us back to that critical moment on Sept 2, 2008 when he and his special forces crew were confronted by 200 Taliban. During this heated battle and rolling ambush, David was shot in the hip with a richochet and felt the impact of several explosive rocket-propelled grenades.
Watch Part Two below
In part three of our interview, David Simpson talks about about his near death experiences and how a critical manoeuvre while serving on the frontline ultimately saved his life.
Watch Part Three below
In part four of our interview, David Simpson talks about the importance of military camaraderie and the cheeky pranks he and his special forces crew played on each other during their time in the service. We also chat about the incredible story of canine war hero Sarbi. David was the dog trainer and handler to Sarbi, an exceptional dog who became Australia’s most recognised canine war hero. During a gruelling nine-hour battle, Sarbi a black Labrador-Newfoundland cross disappeared on September 2, 2008 when Australian special forces were ambushed in a heated battle with the Taliban while on patrol with US and Afghan troops in Uruzgan province. After being found and quarantined, she made her way back to Australia, where she retired in the care of David and his wife Kira.
Watch Part Four below
In part five of our interview, David Simpson shares his thoughts on PTSD and veterans overcoming frontline trauma. As reported by reuters.com, “Some 419 Australian defense personnel have died from suicide since 2001, which is 18% higher than in non-military Australians, according to a government report last year. “
In David’s own words, “Some of the strongest people and the strongest personalities, from quite a few friends that I know personally have actually succumbed to taking their own lives from PTSD… and these are people you never thought would actually take that option or take that route, unfortunately it does affect them.”
Watch Part Five below
David Simpson with his dog Vegas meeting Queen Elizabeth
We want to thank you for your service in the Australian military David and also sharing your incredible story with The Navy Diver.