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CHEYENNE — After two years as communications director for Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Greg Keeley is leaving Capitol Hill for Afghanistan, where he will be a U.S. Navy psychological warfare officer.

Keeley, who steps down from his Senate job Monday, is scheduled to leave for Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Dec. 23.

Perhaps the only Australian press secretary working in Congress, the 38-year-old has always stood out — such as the time he went to the Navy clothing store at the Pentagon for a winter shirt.

Keeley walked up to the clerk and said, “Mate, I’ll have a Navy winter shirt,” a 2008 article in The Hill newspaper recounted.

“What’s NIGH-VEE?” the perplexed clerk replied.

This isn’t Keeley’s first deployment overseas. In 2003, he served in Iraq as a communications officer for the Australian Defence Force.

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A native of Perth, Keeley came to America after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as an ADF military press officer to the Pentagon. He became an American citizen in 2008 and is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.

Keeley will be succeeded by Emily Lawrimore, a former White House spokeswoman under President George W. Bush.

She also previously served as communications director for U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican who infamously shouted “You lie!” at President Obama as the president delivered a health care address to Congress in September.

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