Michael J. Kerrigan

On the second anniversary of Todd Nicely’s losing all his limbs in combat in Afghanistan, Todd shares his thoughts with the Character Blog…

“Today I woke up at 7 a.m. to use my Nustep Machine. For the first time in months, I went for a two-mile run. I did this today to remind myself that two years ago today all of my limbs may have been taken from me, but my will to live and my personality was not. As I ran down the path, cars passed and I wondered what they thought as they watched a person running, covered in artificial limbs. Then I slowly started to think back on my six months in Afghanistan, and I wondered what they were doing on this very day two years ago. If they could have looked in on Afghanistan like they looked out of their car windows this morning, they would have seen a man loving his country and serving his country by losing all his limbs to war. They would have seen a person so resolutely loving life and willing to live that he was able to get to today and be jogging down the road.
The approval of passer-bys is not what I seek two years after my injury. What keeps me going is the deep satisfaction I get from knowing that today, just like two years ago, I Corporal Todd Nicely gave my best to serve my country.”
Todd not only has served his country as a United States Marine in mortal combat, but he continues to serve our country by heroically sharing his inspiring successful recovery. Supported by a strong marriage to Crystal and an amazing will to recover and adapt to a new normal, Todd never stopped believing that things will get better, and they did. Todd and Crystal’s resolute vision of a better tomorrow has enabled them to make incredible progress, and to walk away from a traumatic war injury together.

Todd and Crystal, thanks for being an exemplary warrior family with character. You two bring great hope for many others who are coming home with war injuries.

One Response to Thoughts of a Long-Distance Runner

  • Around this time of day two years ago, I lay down for a nap when I got the worst phone call of my life. Todd– I just wanted to let you know how proud I am of your success. You have always been one of my best friends. You’ve stood by me and taught me a lot about life, whether I was learning from your mistakes or your success. The Marines changed your life forever, good and bad. You made some of the best friends and met an amazing wife. You are still someone I look up to. It was your positive attitude, your will to live, and the love of your wife and family that kept you alive and I admire every bit of that. Out of all of this it was you that made it easier on us when it should have been the other way around. I look at the challenges you have faced and remind myself that if you can make it through what you have with a positive attitude and a smile on your face then so can I. You are an inspiration to me and many others. Don’t ever give up. I love you! (Todd’s Sister)

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Restoring Character in AmericaRestoring Character in America identifies the decline in character in our country, but then gives the reader hope for the future by showcasing leaders whose careers are successfully turning around this trend in our schools, communities, businesses, and the military.

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