A movie scene’

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Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

Ger­many for de­fin­i­tive surgery where a ti­ta­nium rod was in­serted to hold his hip and fe­mur to­gether.

Af­ter that, he was brought back to North Shore Pri­vate Hos­pi­tal in Syd­ney and a naval hos­pi­tal, be­fore com­menc­ing in­ten­sive re­hab.

It was six weeks be­fore he walked again and six months be­fore he re­de­ployed.

Back in Afghanistan, El­liott was about to pass through the gate at Tarin Kowt for his pla­toon’s first “gig” of the de­ploy­ment, when he re­alised he “couldn’t do it”.

“That was the hard­est de­ci­sion of my life,” he said.

Hav­ing trained and de­ployed to­gether, El­liott and Tieche were al­ready firm friends, shar­ing a love of surf­ing and “screamo” bands be­fore forg­ing a life­long bond in the dirt that day 11 years ago.

“It def­i­nitely brought us closer. He’s the per­son who saved my life,” El­liott said.

“It’s a pretty spe­cial thing. Not many peo­ple would have that. Although we don’t travel and see each other we’ll al­ways be friends.

“That will stay for­ever.”

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