WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.
WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.

REUNITED: Bundy teen home after months on navy base

When flying into the Bundaberg Airport, one of the first things he spotted from the plane was his grandmother.

After graduating from Bundaberg North State High School last year, Zhannon Foskett's love for travel and the defence force benefits found him enrolling in the Royal Australian Navy.

He said for six months he was "stuck" on the base for six months, undergoing his training when COVID hit.

While the training is far from a walk in the park, Zhannon, 18, was chuffed with the opportunities afforded with the navy and he has no intentions of leaving.

Even though it was an emotional reunion on Friday.

He said it had nearly been eight months since he'd seen his family in person and 10 months since he'd seen his father.

 

The first few months you miss them quite a bit before adjusting to his new environment.

But he said knowing that his family would always be there when he comes home made it easier to leave.

Looking through the plane's window, he spotted "Nana" and caught a glimpse of the 'Welcome Home Zhannon' sign his family had made and started crying.

But before he could hug them he had to go through a questionnaire with police.

"So I was crying in front of the police and they asked me, 'are you okay' and I'm like 'yeah, yeah I saw something outside'."

He said they all had a laugh about the banner, checked his licence and sent him through to his loved ones.

His grandmother Lorraine said "we were all very emotional".

WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.
WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.

She said the reunion overwhelming and that she was proud of Zhannon.

Lorraine, was thrilled to have him home after missing his graduation and pass out parade because of COVID restrictions.

While he still has about four months' worth of training to do before he can be deployed, he's already undergone myriad training exercises.

He said when you start with the navy, you go through recruit school training for 13 weeks.

"They work you to the point where you don't know if you want to continue or not; it's more like a mental game to get through," he said.

He said around the fourth week they "ease down" and you get to do various things like fire fighting to getting tasered.

"You have to learn the pain you give others," he said.

He said he also learnt survival at sea, and what to do if a ship sinks.

Zhannon said he was also flooded, which is where you're locked in a room filling up with water while you figure out how to escape or stop the flooding.

Zhannon said with a two-year wait for a medic role, he opted for a position as a combat systems operator for mine warfare.

He said part of his job has to do with detecting mines and driving drones.

"I definitely think that the navy, the defence force in general, is a great career," he said.

"If you don't know what to do, it's got everything for you.

"You can become a chef if you wanted to, a musician - they get to travel the most actually."

He said they look after you and you don't feel like just another worker.

While he's only in town for two weeks, he's looking forward to catching up with friends and family, enjoying a sleep-in past 5am and his mother's cooking.

WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.
WELCOME HOME: Zhannon's family welcomed him home at the Bundaberg Airport on Friday afternoon.


MORE STORIES

'OVER THE MOON': Pair reunited after decades apart

FACING FEAR: Back in surf after narrow escape at Archies

COVID BEAR CARE: How Bundy Rum is helping prop up pubs