Nurse Andrew Cameron returned from working in war-torn Afghanistan two weeks ago.
Now he's ready for his next fight - helping the Hawke's Bay region through an outbreak of Covid-19.
Cameron heard the District Health Board's call for extra nurses on Monday. He knew what he needed to do.
"I want to help out where I can and I heard they needed help. And Hawke's Bay is my home district."
Cameron, 63, grew up in Taradale, Napier and his passion for nursing stemmed from an accident.
"I got into nursing after a string of seasonal jobs after I left Colenso High where I failed miserably," he said.
"I was working for a bridge-builder at Ahuriri Industrial Estate and a mate got injured and ended up in the Napier Hospital. I went to visit him and he was being looked after by a male nurse. I thought about giving the job a try, so I applied for a place in the training school and was lucky to get a place."
In 1980 after he finished studying nursing, he decided the Napier Hospital was a good option to get experience at.
"But the Napier Hospital was being shut down, so I worked in Wellington Hospital for three years in the ICU, then I went to Polytech to get my diploma, then went to Melbourne where I did midwifery training, in 1986," he said.
"Then I spent a couple of years in the labour ward in Napier Hospital, then went back to Australia to get my Bachelor in Nursing in 1989."
He worked with an Aboriginal community in Australia for seven years, and then he talked to a friend working overseas.
"She suggested I join her in Kenya."
Since that eye-opener he's also worked in South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Birdsville and Afghanistan. Some of those places stick out in his mind.
"I worked there [Birdsville] for near-on five years for the Australian Government, as the clinic/nursing outpost there is one of their establishments," he said.
"It is about the hottest place in the world, right on the edge of the Simpson Desert, and one of the most fascinating places in Australia. I worked there much of the time largely on my own, so I had to be quite resourceful."
At the Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone, Cameron was part of a multi-national team.
"The mortality rate was about 50 per cent of infected cases, so you had to be a bit careful not to get infected," he said.
"They put me in charge of repatriation of survivors, psychosocial support, and management of safe and dignified burials. Meaning I had to manage the graveyard and conduct a lot of funerals. It was quite an emotional experience, to say the least."
For his last assignment in Afghanistan, his fourth to the country, his job was to look after the Red Cross staff as part of the Covid-19 response team.
"There were about 2000 staff," Cameron said.
On March 24, Afghanistan's Public Health Ministry warned that half the Afghan population of 35 million could become infected, with more than 100,000 potentially dying from the disease.
It has been reported that as of March 31, Afghan officials had registered more than 100 cases of Covid-19, with the actual number expected to be much higher as several border crossings remained open and thousands of Afghans on average are crossing every day.
On Tuesday the UN Security Council also urged Afghanistan's warring parties to heed the UN Secretary-General's call for an immediate ceasefire to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the country.
"I don't want to say too much about the Red Cross activities, apart from the fact that it is a wonderful organisation and I am proud to be a member of the Central Hawke's Bay branch of the NZ Red Cross. More people should join."
As part of its emergency response planning, the Hawke's Bay DHB is actively working to boost its nursing workforce through existing community support.
"Any former nurse under the age of 65, whose Annual Practising Certificate (APC) has lapsed up to five years, can register their interest," said Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Chris McKenna.
"Those with current practising certificates can contact the DHB directly, while nurses who do not hold a current practising certificate can register through the New Zealand Nursing Council."