New Liberal MP Phillip Thompson says he will approach his role with the same sense of duty as he did when serving for the Australian Defence Force.
A former soldier's young daughter has cried out after hearing him speak for the first time in federal parliament.
Phillip Thompson also paused to hold back tears of his own while remembering mates who died at war, or took their own lives after returning home.
"I'm happy she is making noise," Mr Thompson told the lower house on Thursday.
"That's why we are in this place, because we want a better Australia for our future generations."
Mr Thompson has entered parliament after knocking off Labor's Cathy O'Toole for the seat of Herbert at the May 18 election.
He praised his Queensland electorate for "having a heart like no other" and vowed to help industry and tourism in the Townsville region.
Mr Thompson - who was named Queensland's Young Australian of the Year in 2018 - focused on indigenous rights and the mental health of veterans in his first speech.
He pointed out his mother-in-law, wife and one-year-old daughter who were present in the chamber.
"As I stand and look at these three remarkable humans, I have no doubt that as these three generations of Aboriginal women their rights have improved dramatically over the decades," he said.
"But we must not forget there is still a lot of work to be done in recognising and valuing our first nations people and their culture."
Mr Thompson said he maintained the same sense of duty as he did while in the army, to protect the Australian way of life and freedom of speech.
The new MP served in both East Timor and Afghanistan before an improvised explosive device saw him sent back to Australia with a traumatic brain injury.
He choked back tears remembering friends who had died during service and also from suicide back home.
"On deployments to Afghanistan I've had friends killed in action, lose limbs, be critically injured," he said.
"Many have also suffered from lifelong psychological invisible wounds from their deployment."
Mr Thompson said he was in a "terrible dark place" after returning from war, and promised to do more to support the mental health of veterans.
"I have buried too many of my mates, mothers have buried too many of their sons, wives have buried too many of their husbands and fathers, and a nation has buried too many of its veterans," he said.
"Never forget there is more we can do to help."