While serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Commando Regiment, Damien Thomlinson’s life was changed forever.
In April 2009, whilst on night patrol in Southern Afghanistan, Damien’s unit drove over an improvised Taliban bomb. Damien suffered horrendous injuries in the explosion, which resulted in both of his legs being amputated. The damage to his body was so severe his medical team claim it is a miracle he wasn’t killed. In fact there were many times throughout his immediate treatment and beyond that medical staff did not think he would pull through.
Damien threw himself into his rehabilitation and set about re-claiming his life. With a great deal of commitment and hard work he taught himself to walk again with state of the art prosthetic legs.
A keen surfer prior to his injuries, Damien took up snowboarding as part of his personal challenges during rehabilitation, and in 2011 competed with four other ADF members in the US Marine Corps Paralympic Trials. Damien has his eyes firmly set on representing Australia at a Winter Paralympics in the future.
Damien has written about his story in his autobiography ‘Without Warning: A Soldier’s Extraordinary Journey’. Damien's positive attitude and larrikin, never-say-die spirit are an inspiration to all of us, and the story of his journey is humbling, heartbreaking and truly awe-inspiring.
“I have seen first-hand the impact that crucial veteran support services play for returning service men and women. RSL DefenceCare is a forward-thinking organisation that understands that these needs are ever-changing, and I am proud to be an Ambassador and do what I can to bring some extra attention to these initiatives,” said Damien.
RSL DefenceCare is proud to have Damien Thomlinson as an Ambassador.