The first time he got wounded in combat, Marine Sgt. John Peck sustained acute memory loss. He spent two years getting himself back to deployable status—”I had to relearn how to be a Marine,” he says—only to suffer devastating injuries when he stepped on an IED just one month into his second tour of duty. Peck lost all four limbs, one of only five veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars to survive that level of trauma. His goal at that point was to regain enough strength to commit suicide. “I was going to throw myself down a flight of stairs,” he says.
Things didn’t end that way, and the countless fellow warriors whom Peck has inspired and supported over the years are eternally grateful. He received a double arm transplant, wrote a memoir, and now helps other Marines adapt and adjust to physical and emotional injuries. Read (and watch) his whole story, and find out why Military Times named him the Veteran of the Year for 2021.
On to the rest of the news:
Happy endings dept.: Last month we shared the story of Willis, a Massachusetts horse whose owners launched a GoFundMe to pay for his expensive amputation and rehab. Animal lovers came through for the old fella: He’s bound for Wyoming to have the surgery and get his new prosthetic leg.
Is the world ready for amputee aerobatics? A couple of British stunt pilots think so. They’re billing themselves as the most inspirational team on the UK air display circuit. Read the story, then drop into the cockpit for a few loop-de-loops.
Limbitless Solutions has started recruiting amputee kids aged 7 through 17 for a clinical trial of video-game software that helps children learn how to use bionic arms.
With 35,000 miles behind him, sailor Dustin Reynolds is closing in on his quest to become the first double-amputee ever to complete a solo circumnavigation of the globe. Follow his journey on Instagram @thesinglehandedsailor.
Amputee entrepreneur Sun Xiaojun is putting the finishing touches on his BionicM Leg, a powered prosthesis that is slated to hit the market before the end of this year.
Bilateral amputee Felipe Nunes shows off some sensational moves in the latest skateboarding video from Thrasher Magazine.