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Afghanistan veteran ‘inspired’ by ANZAC Day at home initiatives

Former special forces commando and IED survivor Damien Thomlinson says Australia’s embrace of driveway dawn services symbolises the ANZAC spirit.

Mr Thomlinson was horrifically injured by an improvised bomb in Afghanistan while serving with the Australian Army in April, 2009.

Both legs had to be amputated, and the damage to his body was so severe his medical team claim his survival is a miracle.

Just as miraculous are his achievements then and since – Mr Thomlinson is an author, actor, motivational speaker, athlete, Invictus Games competitor, and golfer.

The former special forces commando told Ben Fordham he never set out to be “inspiring”. Instead, he shares “raw insights” about his life to help others move forward.

“I really like being able to lend a perspective.

“It wouldn’t be in anyone’s best interests if someone got dealt the hand of cards I did and didn’t share what parts of that were like.”

Mr Thomlinson said he’s looking forward to participating in the Light Up The Dawn initiative with his family on Saturday morning.

“It’s really inspiring to see people go ‘well, we’re not sitting down, we’re not having ANZAC Day pushed aside’.

“To me that’s the essence of the ANZAC spirit: people doing whatever they can for their mates.”

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