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Marine Corps Veteran Makes Australia Home

The small fishing village of Yeppoon on Australia's Coral Sea coast is a long way from Seth Mooney's hometown of Houston. 

Mooney served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1983 to 1987 as a radio operator, attaining the rank of corporal. 

The Marine Corps shaped his life, he said, instilling discipline, fitness and esprit de corps. The only regret he had was when his orders to deploy were changed from Western Australia to Japan, he said. 

When Mooney got out of the Marine Corps, he told himself that one day he'd visit Australia on his own dime. 

A person holding a bottle of water stands in front of a food truck bearing the state flag of Texas.
Seth Mooney
Seth Mooney stands beside his barbecue food truck in Yeppoon on Australia’s Coral Sea coast, Aug. 3, 2023.
Photo By: David Vergun, DOD
VIRIN: 230803-D-UB488-001Y

And, in 2003, he did. He liked it so much he decided to settle down there permanently. 

The one thing about Australia that he said was missing was Tex-Mex barbecue done right — the way it's done in Texas. 

Mooney rectified the situation by purchasing a food truck, from which he serves copious portions of real Texas barbecue to locals and tourists who visit Yeppoon. 

He only works a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays because his entire meat supply is quickly sold out. 

Earlier this year, Mooney got his Australian citizenship so now he's a dual U.S.-Australian citizen. 

Mooney has a small boat, which he and his girlfriend, Jodie, use to go cruising to the Great Barrier Reef. 

A person holds a tray piled with cooked meat.
Seth Mooney
Seth Mooney hauls smoked meats out of a cooker to sell from his barbecue food truck in Yeppoon on Australia’s Coral Sea coast, Aug. 3, 2023.
Photo By: David Vergun, DOD
VIRIN: 230803-D-UB488-002Y
Two people pose for a photo with the sea behind them.
Life in Australia
Seth Mooney and his girlfriend, Jodie, cruise Australia’s Coral Sea in their small boat.
Photo By: David Vergun, DOD
VIRIN: 230803-D-UB488-003Y
Whenever Mooney encounters a former or current U.S. Marine, he said he feeds them barbecue for free. Mooney said there are a lot of U.S. Marines who call Australia home, but it's a big country so he doesn't often run into them.

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