Peter Brown worked in the personal training and real estate industries before he decided to join the Army as a Parachute Rigger in 2011, just after the birth of his first child.
Sadly, a jump descent accident in 2012 left Peter with life changing injuries to his left leg and lower back. After the accident Peter medically transferred from a Parachute Rigger to Admin Clerk—a change he said he struggled to adapt to.
“I found it very hard to adapt and accept my injuries. It made things very hard at home, it was like a battlefield, especially in my own mind, with my own thoughts. It was very straining on my kids,” said Peter.
With the ongoing battle with his injuries Peter recently medically transitioned from the ADF. He is now studying a certificate three and four in fitness so he can make a career out of his passion for fitness.
“I have always received amazing help from so many people over the years but I was really starting to get frustrated due to my mental health and injuries. It was the right time to leave,” said Peter.
During his time in the Army Peter became involved with the Australian Defence Force Adaptive Sports Program which is for injured, wounded and ill veterans and current serving members. Through the program he has represented Australia at the Invictus Games in 2018 and travelled to the United States in 2019 to be a part of the Australian team for the Warrior Games.
“Being able to wear the green and gold on an international sporting arena was absolutely mind-blowing and having my kids and family in the crowd made it even more special,” Peter said.
Representing his country sparked Peter’s passion for sport again and has seen him compete in a number of sports including his favourite, indoor rowing.
Peter’s advice to anyone reading his story and who is struggling with their mental or physical health is to ask for help and access places like Open Arms Veterans & Families Counselling.
“Reaching out for help doesn’t mean you’re a failure, it takes tremendous strength to say that you need help.”