Amputee soldier who thought career over joins Kenyan exercise
A soldier who lost a limb after being blown up twice in a week in Afghanistan has battled against the odds to join troops training in Kenya.
Fusilier Sean Wiseman, from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, thought his army career was over when, at the age of 18, his right leg was amputated after he was injured while on foot patrol in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province.
The blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in 2010 came just six days after he had survived another explosion with cuts and bruises.
Now, the 24-year-old’s determination to continue in active service has taken him all the way to east Africa for his first overseas posting with his battalion since his injury.
The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 Scots), are currently taking part in six-week training programme Exercise Askari Storm in the Kenyan bush.
Fusilier Wiseman has been working alongside the quartermaster at the British Army Training Unit Kenya’s base in Nanyuki town.
He said: “It’s my first time in Kenya because I’ve always had problems with my leg. This is the only time that I’ve been 100 per cent clear, leg and health wise. I’ve stayed behind quite a lot of the time and it makes a big difference eventually getting out here.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting in an office or out on the ground, it’s just another thing that I can say, ‘Well, I’ve done this, being an amputee is nothing to be ashamed of’. You’re more proud of it because you’re achieving more each day.”
Fusilier Wiseman joined the battalion as an infantry soldier on the week of his 18th birthday and had been in Afghanistan with 2 Scots for around three and a half months when he was hit. He was in a vehicle when the first IED, hidden in a speed bump, exploded on 22 December, 2010.
“I got a few cuts and bruises from that one. Then, six days later, on the 28th, I was on a foot patrol. We were en route back to our location to rest up and walking along a dirt track, and I was hit again with another IED. When it went off it damaged both my legs, I had a massive hole in my right leg below my knee, my left leg was ripped open.”
After the amputation, Fus Wiseman was determined to return to work, with the help of the battalion.
He said: “I had my medical board and I just fought for it. I just told them … ‘I want to be back with the guys, I want to be back with the battalion, I want to keep my job and I want to fight for it’, and luckily enough the medical board said aye.”