Strength in exercise for Fraser Coast ex-servicemen

The Hervey Bay RSL and Hervey Bay RSL Sub-Branch have joined forces to help a local ex-serviceman in need with a special $1800 community grant.

Contributed by Hervey Bay RSL

Brady Jocumsen works out on his rowing machine thanks to the Hervey Bay RSL Community Grants program. PHOTO: Supplied.

Brady Jocumsen was on top of the world when he joined the Navy in 2015 where he spent the next seven years becoming a Marine Technician and completed his trade certificate as a mechanical engineer, including diesel fitting.

He was strong, fit, and ready to take on whatever challenges the Navy threw at him. Unfortunately, that high spirit wasn’t enough for Brady to keep going when medical issues and mental health problems arose.

He was medically discharged from service in 2021 after suffering conditions like chronic insomnia, social anxiety disorder, spinal and knee injuries and Major Depressive Order and as a result of treatment for this, morbid obesity.

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“Coming from a ship, you are used to being around the same people all the time and you know what’s going to happen and I think that was the hardest part of adjusting back to civilian life,” Brady said.

Going from someone who was active and fit to being overweight has been incredibly hard for the 30-year-old.

Brady wanted to make change happen, so he applied to the Hervey Bay RSL Community Grants program to cover the cost of a rowing machine.

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He not only had a goal of losing weight and gaining his fitness back, but also a dream of having a shot at being selected to attend the Canadian Winter Games on Prince Edward Island in 2023.

This event would be steppingstone to then going on to compete at the 2025 Invictus Games in Vancouver.

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The rower now takes pride of place in Brady’s loungeroom and after only three weeks since it was delivered, he has already lost six kilos.

“I’ve been out of defence for over a year now and I hadn’t done any type of exercise regime for six months since leaving defence due to illness and injury so that’s a fair amount of time not to be active,” Brady said.

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“I really enjoy it and its low impact. My doctors agreed that a rowing machine was the best option for my body mass and low impact on my knees.

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“It is challenging mentally more than anything; it is fun but I didn’t realise how unfit I was.

“When I was in the Navy this would have been very easy but getting back to training has been

“There is still a long way to go but I am getting there.”

He said a big positive with having the machine at home is that he doesn’t need to pluck up the courage to go to gym and it’s there whenever he feels a spark to exercise.

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“I do feel a lot better afterwards and it takes the pressure off going to the gym and being around people.

“With mental health issues I find it difficult to leave the house so being able to do this in my own house; I find that helps a lot.”


Brady said he’s so thankful to the RSL and the RSL Sub-Branch for their generous donation.
It has changed his life for the better.

“Financially it has been quite difficult for me since leaving defence and I wouldn’t have been able to afford this otherwise.

“A big thank you to RSL and Sub-Branch for their support.”

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