The men and women who fight for our country sacrifice tremendously to keep us safe. This often includes their health and well-being. That was certainly true for Staff Sgt. Jesse Cottle who was significantly injured by a roadside bomb during his service in Afghanistan. The injury may have resulted in the the 24-year-old veteran losing both legs, but he ended up gaining so much more!
After months of intensive recovery and adjustment to his new life, Cottle was released from the hospital. He began venturing back out into the world and make appearances across the country in his new prosthetic legs. During this time, he meet the love of his life, Kelly. She loved him through and through despite all he had endured. “His personality and who he is outweighs his injuries by so much that you sort of forget about it after a while,” Kelly said in an interview.
The happy couple eventually married. Four years later, they traveled to Boise, Idaho to visit family. While there, the family decided to have some professional photos taken. After a few photos in a stream, Kelly carried Jesse back to the shore to retrieve his prosthetic legs. The photographer managed to capture a few photos of the precious moment, and the resulting photos were incredible. One particular photo posted to Facebook understandably went viral!
The photo features Kelly carrying Jesse on her back in the stream when they had paused for a moment to smile at the camera. The image is truly moving and very powerful showing the deep love they have for each other. “The photo really says it all,” Jesse stated, “I actually look at it very much as a symbol pretty much for our whole relationship in general. She is physically carrying me, but man, there’s times when she’s carrying me emotionally.”
After the photo gained so much attention, the couple appeared on Good Morning America where Jesse shared a few things that brought us all to tears. When asked about his injury, the veteran said he had no regrets. He is thankful for his injury because it led him to Kelly. “I wouldn’t take it back, ever,” he proudly stated.
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