Ken Harvie and wife Desaleigh Harvie with children (from left) Milla, Willem, Levi, Remi and Ruby Harvie.
Ken Harvie and wife Desaleigh Harvie with children (from left) Milla, Willem, Levi, Remi and Ruby Harvie. Shayla Bulloch

Proud Coolum family holds dad close after decade in army

KEN Harvie's children looked up at him with pride this morning as he retold the stories of a decade in service both in Australia and overseas.

The 42-year-old was glad to be home with his five children and wife after 10-years in the armed forces, who all showed their respects at the Mooloolaba Surf Club dawn service today.

The Coolum family said it was their first service by Mooloolaba Beach, and Mr Harvie wore his medals from service in East Timor, Afghanistan and Townsville with pride.

He was the first in his family to start a military career, saying he was driven to enlist by his urge to break out of his home town of Geelong.

"I wanted to get as far away from my home town as I could,” he said.

"The armed forces was an amazing experience.”

While not dwelling on his experiences, Mr Harvie said he left service and joined the Army Reserves in 2017. He was now based at Yandina.

"When you're in the army, you don't have much control over your life,” he said.

"Being back and a part of the Reserves is fantastic, and it gives me my family back.”

Mr Harvie said he was away for most of his eldest daughter, Remi's, younger life.

Now 12 years old, Remi was glad to have him back and brimmed with pride when she spoke about her dad.

Mr Harvie planned to spend his day with family after taking part in a street parade.