US Marine Todd Love was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, when the IED struck him in Afghanistan.
The loss of both his legs and an arm is sad…but that did not stop him from living life to its fullest.
This is his story in his words. I hope his quotes will leave you pumped to face the day.
“I’ve been in so many firefights … probably close to 40. I couldn’t even possibly tell you how many times I’ve been shot at.”
“I don’t remember an explosion,” said the 22 year old Cpl. Love.
“One second I’m in Afghanistan and another second I’m in Germany.”
“When I woke up in Germany, the first thing I recognized was that I wasn’t in Afghanistan anymore. Then realized I stepped on an IED.”
“It took them five minutes to find me, and when they did, my legs were already gone and my left hand was really damaged.”
He would rehab every day but Todd wanted more.
His goal was to join a team to complete the rigorous “Spartan” race.
Photographer credit Brett May “I don’t have a reason to feel sorry for myself.”
“A lot of times, people will come up to me and thank me for my service, and I see the tears in their eyes and there’s not much that I can say.”
“In my mind, I’m thinking I wish these people knew…”
“…I wish they knew what I was thinking, how much I love my life.”
The race was just the beginning.
“I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to,” he said. “And for me, that’s way more than having two legs. It’s priceless.”
“The whole time, I was kind of thinking, ‘I hope this gator doesn’t get tired of me being on top of him, ’cause I’m bite-sized”.
“I would say the adrenaline rush was probably the most significant,” he said. “It’s up there with combat.”
Todd probably doesn’t know anything “civilized”…I mean, “once a Marine, always a Devil Dog”.
Nope, as part of rehabilitation Mr. Love learned to play piano.
His favorite tunes come from the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
“When I’m in the kayak it definitely makes me feel free. There’s just something about being in the water. It’s good Therapy”.
Spending time with injured Veterans:
“When I’m with the other Veterans, when I’m teaching. I’m alive.”
“There’s nothing better in the world then to take someone who thinks they’ve had everything stripped from them.”
“That they’re never going to lead a functional life again and to teach them a whole new skill.”
He’s inspired many other injured men and women to compete in these races.
He’s freakin’ funny too. Description of the day he was hit by the IED:“I was up front with the minesweepers searching for explosives and I found them. I guess that’s the easiest way to put it.”
Todd Love on getting old:
“When I’m 90, I hope I’m doing something crazy.”
Photographer credit Brett May “I’m still the same man.
I was a boy when I left, but now I’m man. I haven’t lost anything in my eyes”.
Todd’s 8 man team during the Spartan race:
-over 5 Hours
Todd Love and his team, “X_T.R.E.M.E.” completed the the obstacles.
And crossed the finish-line of the “Beast” Spartan Challenge.
The second photo in this gallery is Master Sergeant Dave Jarvis carrying triple amputee Corporal Todd Love during the “Recon Challenge”.
He’s still out there pushing for more.
You can’t read this enough:
“I wish they knew what I was thinking, how much I love my life.”
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