Illness nor isolation will stop Bowen man from marching
DESPITE living with a degenerative spine disease and arthritis, retired serviceman Damien "Damo" Cocks says neither his chronic illness nor the government will take away his right to march and pay his respects to the Anzacs tomorrow.
Mr Cocks will be playing The Last Post from his front lawn tomorrow at 6:30am and marching with his father's war medals through the streets of Bowen, to lay a wreath at the Anzac memorial.
After serving in the Australian Army, Mr Cocks was discharged because of his health, and said that nothing would stop him from paying his respects to the fallen Diggers.
"I've got degenerative spine disease and arthritis in both knees and elbow," he said.
"It'll be the longest walk I've had in years but it will not hurt as much as the pain those boys went through.
"I'll do The Last Post out the front on my lawn with my kids at about 6:30, quarter to seven I'll start marching up with the flag, up Sinclair St past the RSL to the memorial to lay the beautiful wreath donated by Kerry at Floral Notes."
Mr Cocks said his march was firstly out of respect, but also as a protest that the government should not be able to control people's will to show their respect to fallen Diggers.
Honouring those who had served past and present, Mr Cocks said his walk was out of respect for his friend "Dungee", who had recently died by suicide after years of chronic PTSD, and his Vietnam veteran father.
"I'm doing it for Dungee but I'm doing this out of respect for the Anzacs and out of respect for my father, a Vietnam vet," he said.
"I am doing it to keep this going for them."
Mr Cocks encouraged people to join him on the walk which, provided people remained a safe distance away, was "technically" "not breaking any laws".
"If I can get people to jump in and march with me that's great, stay the 1.5 metres away and follow me up," he said
"Technically I'm not breaking any laws, there are no laws saying a man can't walk up the main street.
"I do hope the police come and from a safety aspect get involved, if they put their lights on and drive behind me, I'll shake their hands at the end for respecting me and for the support."