Why was I headbutted as I waited in a queue to pay for fuel?
IN all the years Russell Collins spent in war zones, no physical harm ever came to him.
But in broad daylight at a Mountain Creek service station this week, the 57-year-old was bashed in an unprovoked attack that left him bloodied and with broken bones.
His attacker had accused Mr Collins of verbally abusing his girlfriend outside the station moments before, a claim Mr Collins denied.
The offender should not be too hard to track down.
Police say he left his personal details with the counter staff before the attack because he could not pay for his fuel.
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The incident happened about 11.30am on Tuesday.
An ambulance was called and paramedics took him to Nambour General Hospital with a broken nose.
He will see a facial specialist at the Royal Brisbane Hospital on Monday.
"The blood just started pouring out," Mr Collins said. "I didn't even realise (the attack was so sudden).
"Right now, physically, I'm a bit uncomfortable. I look awful but I don't feel bad.
"Emotionally and psychologically, I'm more upset."
Mr Collins said the attack was even more perplexing, given his history in war zones.
The South African-born former soldier spent a quarter-century fighting in the South African Border War, five years in Afghanistan and most recently six months in Iraq as a civilian contractor.
"I'm not in Kings Cross or the Gold Coast, I'm on the Sunshine Coast, for God's sake," he said.
"You read a lot in the media about king hits and there does seem to be a certain group in multiple generations that are feral.
"The gloss has gone off some Aussies for me.
"I'll be more discerning in the future, which is a pity."
Mr Collins believed the incident had something to do with a brief exchange that took place shortly after pulling up at the service station.
He said he had parked behind a car already sitting at the bowser, thinking the driver was inside the store.
After about five minutes, he noticed the female driver was actually in the car.
He didn't realise her partner was inside the store with the counter staff.
"I got out and I was moving to the car when I said, 'Excuse me'," he said.
"They (the driver) started the car and moved forward and parked in a spot without saying anything back to me.
"I don't believe I did anything wrong."
He said the incident had changed his perspective on some Australians.
Mr Collins gave a statement to police on Thursday. .
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said investigations were ongoing.
The incident was captured on CCTV. No one had been charged yesterday.