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January 08, 2014 AT 11:51 AM
In 1999, Heath Calhoun enlisted in the military, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He didn't expect to see combat any time in the near future, but following the events on September 11th he found himself shipped off to Iraq. In 2003, the Humvee he was travelling in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, and when he regained consciousness he woke up to find both his legs amputated above the knee. He spent the next few years running through the entire grief spectrum, feeling like he'd let his friends in the military down and understandably angry at his circumstances. Year later during a trip to Colorado he discovered skiing. He found a new hobby and purpose in it, and he worked tirelessly until he made the U.S. Paralympic team in 2010. This is his story, and one that all of us should use to gain some perspective.