Fighting man of peace has adventurous past 

Amazing tales: Kuldip Singh Deo holding the book On The Front Line, which includes a chapter about his life in the Indian Army.At first, Kuldip Singh Deo looks like your average hardworking man.

But once you start to talk to him, you will discover his amazing and adventurous past.

The stories of Mr Deo, who lives in Glenwood and is now essentially a man of peace, begin when he joined the Indian Army in 1965 at the age of 16.

He served in the Indian military as a soldier for seven years.

“I joined the army because my thinking at the time was that it would be a better future and better education,” Mr Deo said.

At 19 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant.

“I was one of the youngest sergeants in the Indian Army,” he said.

“They kept me in the physical college as an instructor at the biggest Indian Army Academy near Mumbai [Bombay, as it was then].”

With the Indian Army, Mr Deo fought in the war between India and China.

At the time he was guarding the border between the two countries.

He also fought in the Indo-Pakistani War in Bangladesh in 1971.

Mr Deo said fighting in Bangladesh was very dangerous.

“The area was hot,” he said.

“There were snakes everywhere, the climate was unpredictable, and we didn’t know who to trust.

“When we had to parachute jump into the area, we would get stuck in a bush. It was very hard to get out of the area.

“I was commander of paratroops in the war and I lost six very good soldiers.”

To add to his extensive resume, Mr Deo represented India in middleweight boxing at the Munich Olympic Games, in Germany, in 1972.

Among his least pleasant memories are those Munich massacre, which wasn’t far from where he was staying.

After the Olympic Games, he migrated to Australia in 1972 to further his boxing career.

In 1973, he joined the Australian Army Reserve.

“I was fighting fit from the Indian Army and I wanted to continue and have more experiences,” he said.

A chapter about Mr Deo’s military efforts is included in the book On the Front Line, by Michael Hambrook. “He came to the temple here and he found out that I was in the army,” he said.

Mr Deo then worked as an engineer with the Public Transport Commission and was moved to Sydney to continue working on the railway.

He continued to work with the company for 30 years and retired as a technical manager.

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