The photo shows Lance-Corporal Scott Blaney standing guard in bearskin and greatcoat in January 2010 as the first amputee guardsman in the British Army. Guardsman Scott Blaney had only been in Afghanistan for a month when he was seriously injured by an explosion during a foot patrol in May 2007. His right leg had to be amputated at Camp Bastion, the British military base. The explosion of a mine killed one of his colleagues and injured four others. Scott was lucky to be alive; he lost his lower right leg as well as suffering damage to his right elbow and eye from shrapnel. The soldier who carried Scott on his back for more than a mile to a waiting helicopter was RSM Darren Chant who was subsequently killed in Afghanistan on 3 Nov 2009. This selfless action got Scott the quick attention he needed and potentially saved his life. Scott has said "We were lying on a mound of earth when the explosion happened. I was thrown on my back and saw my right leg twisted up near my head and I knew it had been blown off. My elbow had been nearly split in two, I had shrapnel in my eye and I saw my mate dead". After being treated at a field hospital, Scott was returned to England staying at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham for about six weeks which were followed by some time at Hedley Court Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. He was very determined and set timed goals to walk again, run a marathon, cycle, all of which he did and more. "Cycling was hard to start off with, but you eventually get there. I go out once a day on the bike".
In 2009 his father Peter Blaney said "What he has done is remarkable and has amazed me. He just gets on with his life and is very positive. He is so well adjusted to what has happened and I think the army sees him as an inspiration to other wounded soldiers". As a soldier who lost a leg in combat he has become the first amputee to serve as a Queen's Guard. At the age of 22 he took up the position at the Tower of London on 8 Feb 2009 - two years after the horrific injury. Scott walks with the aid of a false limb and is jokingly called 'Hoppy' by his army friends. "It made me proud to be back on duty and serving my country," he said after he stood sentry. "I did my full two hour rota split into shifts and I can't wait to do it again. I slipped very slightly on the icy cobbles but was able to recover my footing and I don't think anyone noticed." Guardsman Blaney from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, returned to ceremonial duties after his commanding officer, Lt Col Carew Hatherley, pledged to keep him in the Grenadier Guards regiment. He expressed a hope to return with his regiment to Afghanistan as well as represent Britain at the London 2012 Paralympics. He swam the English Channel in July 2009 and in December 2013 rowed 3,000 miles across the Atlantic with another army amputee and two able-bodied officers. In the same year he was engaged to Amy Lee. A full account of Scott's achievements can be seen at: http://birminghamtocanada.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-modern-day-hero-scott-blaney-injury.html
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