Five years after miraculously surviving a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, becoming a renowned athlete, gracing the cover of ESPN magazine, and drumming up support for her fellow wounded warriors, Marine Corps veteran Kirstie Ennis got a personal boost Sept. 16, when she was given the keys to a custom-built home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
With seconds left on the clock, Army veteran Joey Bozik landed a wrist lock and secured his first competitive win at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Austin Open on July 22 in Texas. And he did it with just one arm.
Marine veteran, mountain climber, amputee athlete, and all-around badass Kirstie Ennis recently made the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue, the first veteran to grace its cover. The yearly spread features nude and semi-nude photos of male and female athletes from all sports and vocations, both on and off the field, as a testament to the perseverance of both the human body and will — something Ennis captures perfectly.
In 2007, an improvised explosive device explosion in Aloos, Iraq, left Marine Sgt. Christopher Lawrence with life-threatening injuries, a severely injured left arm and a badly mangled right leg. In 2008 Lawrence made the decision to have his injured leg amputated and was told that he might never walk again without assistance.
Army Staff Sgt. Jace Badia almost died in Ramadi, Iraq, on Nov. 11, 2006. While serving in the infantry with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. The blast cost Badia his left leg, and he suffered severe injuries to his right leg.