Building Homes For Heroes photo by Gary DeJidas

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.

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Photo via The Veterans Project

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.

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Photo courtesy of Michael Eckert

When it comes to crushing the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, it’s all about the pull-ups. Sure, if you can lope along like a gazelle and snag an 18-minute three-mile-run, you’re well on your way to a perfect score, but you still need to max out on pull-ups. With the Marine Corps’ new PFT changes, men between 21 and 35 will need 23 pull-ups for a perfect score, while women of the same age will need between nine or 10.

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Photo by Spc. Jamill Ford

Athletes, friends, and family gathered at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, this week to attend the 2015 Warrior Games, where men and women from all branches came to compete against one another in an array of sports. Like all committed athletes, they trained and prepared for their chosen events, kept to strict diets, and intense regimens. Unlike other competitions, every athlete at the Warrior Games has or continues to serve their country, and was seriously wounded or injured, since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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