The Daily Telegraph
July 02, 2011
LAST week at a restaurant in Sydney, above a bar in Oxford St, Damien Thomlinson stood on legs of carbon fibre and spoke of life as a commando in Afghanistan.
His message came back to one small truth.
"The greatest asset of any soldier," he said, "is the man standing next to him."
Off to the side with his hands in his pockets stood a small man behind a big moustache who smiled a lot.
Thomlinson walks with a slight limp on his carbon fibre legs. The limp is pronounced enough for people to notice but subtle enough for a man recently to ask: "Twist your ankle playing footy?"
Thomlinson smiled and said: "No, drove over a bomb."
The man laughed. "Seriously, twist your ankle playing footy?"
"No, seriously," Thomlinson said, "drove over a bomb."
He can't remember the explosion. He was driving a night patrol near Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan when the bomb, an improvised explosive device, went off directly under him. It knocked the soldier in the passenger seat out the side door and the soldier in the back seat through the back window.
Right above it, Thomlinson had nowhere to go. So his right leg turned into red mist, gone forever.
His left leg was shredded and broken, severed below the knee.
His right elbow came out of a hole in his arm, his hands were broken, a wrist broken, his left shoulder dislocated, his nose broken and his lip torn open so badly blood was running down his throat into his lungs, which was a good thing.
As the soldiers in the following vehicle began working on their two ejected companions they heard wheezing from inside the car and, hearing a man choking on his own blood, realised the lump was a body.
One of the first to begin working on him was Private Scott Palmer.
That night, Palmer called his dad, Ray, at home in Darwin and told him what happened, and that "Iceman" Thomlinson was on his way to Germany and a lot of boys were shook up by what happened.
"I don't think he's gonna make it," Palmer said.
That was April, 2009. In the many months since, Thomlinson has learned to walk and resume a life close to what it once was, working in development at Holsworthy Barracks. When he heard in June last year that an army chopper went down in Afghanistan, and three commandos were killed in action, a chill ran through him because he would almost certainly know the soldiers on board.
One of those killed was Palmer.
Palmer's dad is Ray, the little man behind the big moustache.
Towards the end of last year Ray called Thomlinson and told him that he and his son had always planned to walk the Kokoda Track together.
Now his son was gone he was wondering if Thomlinson would do it with him.
Until then Thomlinson's answer had always been the same - he's had about four approaches - but when Ray asked he thought back to that one small truth, of mateship, and the soldier next to you.
He said: "Absolutely."
For months now they have been training, and will head off in just under a fortnight.
As it nears both men have their reservations, for different reasons.
Thomlinson knows about a dozen able-bodied people who have come back from it - and all have described how tough an effort it was. "For me," he says, "it's going to be extremely challenging, there's going to be nothing easy.
"When I weighed up why do I want to do it - I've got to do it for my own reasons.
"Ray said to me that him and Scott were going to do it and that it's really important to him. From there, there's no real way you can say no."
Ray has been training as often as he can, but not as often as he needs.
Living in the Northern Territory, there have been trips to Sydney and Brisbane for events concerning his son, broken routines that have interfered with the 10km walks, with a backpack, he tries to do daily.
And, anyway, he knows that physically he will get there.
Emotionally might be a problem.
He was at home on a Monday night when he got a phone call telling him his son had died. He was back at work the following morning.
"(Scott) would have said, 'Dad, don't sit at home and mope over me'," Ray says.
"I didn't want it to happen, but I thought it might happen one day because of the job he's in.
"So even though you don't want it to happen, the voice saying your son has just died that night was shattering to me and, to be honest, that evening I was more in shock.
"I'd only just talked to him on the Saturday night ... he was coming home."
EXPRESSING emotions isn't easy for him. As Thomlinson spoke last week, Ray smiled before saying a few words himself. And it was almost unsettling to hear him talk about his lost son.
"This won't bring Scott back. This trip isn't about that or about replacing Scott with Damien. My son's dead. This is about all those blokes who are the ones going to suffer now," he says.
In all, 25 wounded soldiers will be going, and there will be moments when it gets the better of him.
Often, when training, the backpack is not the only load he carries. Often his thoughts drift to his boy, and there have been days walking under his load when the thoughts have come rushing, about what was there and what was lost and, well, he doesn't like to admit it, but there are tears.
"I do get very cut up about what's happened, I'm sorry to say. I've shed a lot of friggin' tears but, mainly, I've shed a lot of tears by myself," he says.
Kokoda tests everyone who walks it. They know that. Indeed, part of commando training is to increase the physical duress in a bid to strengthen - or break - the mind. And given the emotional load they will take in with them, Kokoda will be not a whole lot different. That's what awaits them.
"I have nerves in regard to how emotional it's going to be," Ray says. "I can't tell you how emotional I'm going to get over there."
Ray knows when it is over people will say they're proud of him, that he put others before himself and they are proud. Those are not his thoughts. They are what he knows his son would say.
To think that this Australian Hero has endured all he has,whilst those,whose ideology,Islam,the reason he lost both legs,are alive and well in HIS country,the Country he was prepared to die for,our Australia,are they are demanding to enforce the very same Satan inspired ideology, he so bravely fought against in Afghanistan, and almost paid the ultimate price,is flourishing via the ACTU/ Get Up funded Australian Labor Party /Green /”Independents” Minority Socialist Australian Government’s patronage of, and direct funding via Multiculturalism, “Harmony Days” and the Left’s “All Cultures Religions are equal”, is a sick JOKE,a sin against all Australians, but then again, that is, what,after all, Multiculturalism / Communism / Socialism,Islamism is,a sick joke, a crime against Humanity.
As Damien Thomlinson talks about his plans to Honour the memory of his mate,Private Scott Palmer,with Scott’s eternally Loving Dad,and the Daily Telegraph’s “Fair Dinkum” journalist,Paul Kent ,Evil,Wicked, Islamic “men” and “women”, who celebrated the slaughter of 911 on the streets of Sydney’s “Occupied Territories”, and the Death of Private Scott Palmer and the maiming of Damien Thomlinson and every other Australian Soldier killed or wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq or anywhere else on the planet, will meet, less than 20 kilometers from the Sydney CBD this Sunday, the third of July 2011,celebrating Islam and plotting more ways to advance the manifestations of the Koran,and how to kill more Australian Soldiers, whilst celebrating those already killed by their fellow Islamic Terrorists.
So what are those Ignoble Swine,who are sworn to destroy us, doing this weekend ? Hizb ut-Tahrir Conference this weekend at Sydney Mosque.
During WW2 I am sure NAZI’s walked and lived amongst us, but at least the Labor Government of the day did not facilitate their meeting and plotting the downfall of Australian Troops in Europe and the Pacific via the present day Labor Party’s / Green / “Independent’s” Minority Socialist Union / Get Up funded Australian Federal Government’s ( aka.“Co Party”) Trojan Horse of “Multiculturalism”
There is, in my opinion,an overwhelming case for the removal of all Australian Military,from their foreign deployments,returned to Australia, and deployed going door to door through the various “Multicultural” Ghetto’s, the Islamic “Occupied Territories” Australian No Go Zones, of South Western Sydney for example, that have been imposed upon Australians by the Australian Labor Party at State and Federal levels of Government.
Once Australia and it’s cities,towns and suburbs are declared “clear” of Muslims by our ADF,then and only then, should any Australian Government deploy Australian Soldiers off shore to engage an enemy that is NOW as of July 2 2011 entrenched,resident,active,terrorist and combat ready on Australian soil.
More on the incredibly brave ANZAC.
The Irony of the videos below is that the reporter who is doing the report is a serial apologist for the Left,Multiculturalism and former Guantanamo Bay inmate,Mohammed Dawood, aka. “Our David” aka. David Hicks.