This is a Marine. There are many like him, but this one is unique and this one is my nephew. I posted an article for Veteran’s Day about Jesse for Veteran's Day and I was amazed at the response. So I thought I would share just a bit more of the story.

Six weeks before my wedding seven years ago, my wife and I were prepping the ranch for the wedding when a phone call shocked us to the core. “Jesse has lost both his legs in an Afghanistan IED explosion.” Triage on

“Jesse has lost both his legs in an Afghanistan IED explosion.” Triage on

Triage on scene, local hospital stop, then off to Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Then he came stateside for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he called to say he would be at our wedding in a month. We figured it was the morphine talking as they did more and more surgeries taking off a bit more of his legs each time.

We were so glad we did not cancel. He was true to his word and showed up on wheels and in good spirits. Not long after at his wedding, I met some of his unit and could understand why he wanted to get back in the fight with them. They were a team, these were his brothers.

I found out that he heard the click as he stepped on the IED in Afghanistan, the next thing he knew he was up in the air in a cloud of smoke and dirt. His thoughts immediately went to his team. As he came down he knew that a popular enemy trick is to place a sniper or two in proximity to pick off those that would rush to rescue.

As he first felt one leg gone, then the other, he went for a tourniquet. “Damn, how will this affect my mom and dad?” The team got him on a stretcher and while they were humping him out, he was yelling encouragement to his team. Always thinking of others.

Long story short, he did his rehab, met a drop dead gorgeous girl who is even more beautiful when you get to know her. She deserves a story all her own.

My nephew Jesse is now schooling in medicine to help others (again) and he and his wife have a beautiful daughter. His father, also a Marine with his own harrowing stories of Vietnam, would not let Jesse be a victim. He would help him overcome his “disabilities” and get on with life. He is doing that in spades.

What Jesse may not realize is his effect on others. There are times when things happen in my life that could get me down, but I think about people with real problems overcoming such a harsh hand, can I do no less? He is a constant inspiration. I can only imagine how he inspires others in his orbit.

Jesse is a great man, husband, father, student, teacher, nephew and  inspiration. He is a warrior, he is a Marine. Oorah!

This is just one story I present as inspiration for all of us, especially for other Wounded Warriors. I appreciate all of our military men and women, each with their own stories of valor and sacrifice. They place themselves between danger and evil for us. We can never thank them enough.

There are heroes all around us to be respected and honored, they are American Veterans. Thank you.

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