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Photo Of Wounded Vet & Wife Goes VIRAL, Photographer Stunned

August 28, 2013

We’ve all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, some are worth a lot more than that!

When photographer Sarah Ledford, took a picture of former Marine Staff Sgt. Jesse Cottle and his wife, what she saw was  a beautiful picture of a wounded warrior and his loving wife. But when the photo was posted on the internet, it became a sensation!

Cottle lost his legs to an IED in Afghanistan in 2009 and the image of him being held by his adoring wife did not incite pity among internet admirers, rather, jubilance over the beauty of sacrifice…the way it should be!

Check out the picture for yourself:



A photo of a woman toting her amputee husband on her back has gone wildly viral this week as commenter after commenter marvels at the couples’ apparent devotion.

Former Marine Staff Sgt. Jesse Cottle lost his legs in Afghanistan in 2009 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The picture, taken this month at a family photo shoot near Boise, Id., shows Cottle and his wife Kelly just after their one year wedding anniversary as she carries him back to his legs which he had removed for a different part of the shoot.

The photographer, Sarah Ledford, was shocked by the reaction the photo received on her business Facebook page. It has now been shared more than 3,000 times and has almost 15,000 “likes.”

We’re a little surprised by America, too.

Because instead of the pity reaction which the military community so often entertains from our nation, it is one of damp-eyed jubilance over the beauty of sacrifice.

And that’s the reaction we’ve been looking for all along.

You see, America has a nasty habit of feeling sorry for what we consider points of pride.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy for any attention military sacrifice can get. But we think the story is being told the wrong way.

Yes, loss of life and limb is sad. But while the reporting often stops there, the story does not.

Instead the story of military life – both post and current – is one of pride in sacrifice. It’s a story of Cottle loosing his legs but still marrying and still smiling. It’s the story of spouses like Kelly moving their families along in the face of emotional and physical struggles and, sometimes literally, carrying the weight of that on their backs.

Kelly and Cottle are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the jaw-dropping stories of America’s wounded warriors and their families, something they told this news station during a recent interview.

“It’s just kind of normal for us but it’s cool because I think we represent a lot of people,” Kelly said. “A lot of couples that are going through the same thing. It’s an honor to be able to represent that.”



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