The story of Afghanistan veteran and double amputee Damien Thomlinson has inspired many across the world. Today, it was the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles turn.
Damien shared part of his incredible journey with Head Coach Trent Barrett, Assistant Coaches John Cartwright and Willie Peters, as well as players Nate Myles, Brenton Lawrence, Matt Parcell and Jorge Taufua, in the lead up to Remembrance Day on Friday, November 11.
Aged 35, Damien is the face of the RSL NSW’s Poppy Appeal Campaign.
Funds raised through the annual Poppy Appeal are used to help the RSL support Australian service men and women returning from service with physical or mental illnesses and injuries
Inspired by the military history of his Grandfather, Thomlinson joined the Australian Defence Force and at the age of 24, achieved his dream of becoming a Commando.
While serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Commando Regiment that 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 represents the many modern day veterans who have returned to Australia following their service and requiring support. He is also part of the ensemble cast of the Hollywood war epic, Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson.
The Sea Eagles encourage Members and supporters to buy a Poppy. The Poppy Appeal encourages all Australians to “Remember this November” by donating and receiving a poppy from volunteers or online at www.poppyshop.org.au