Twenty-seven year old Marine Cpl Todd Nicely has again learned how to drive and passed his road test at the DMV with flying colors. To most of us that is not particularly noteworthy. However, Cpl Nicely is an amputee.
Last year, Cpl Nicely was in Afghanistan, leading a patrol, when he received severe wounds from an IED. As a result he lost both arms and both legs.
"For most people driving is seen as their symbol of independence, " said Occupational Therapist Pat Niewoehner.
With the help from some very specialized equipment, Todd was able to re-train and is now driving again.
"Just to the grocery store would be nice, " he said. "Just to get out and go somewhere by myself."
"The biggest challenge is not having hands, " said Nicely. "It's a lot harder than it looks."
These days you might find Cpl Nicely driving to the store or you might find him back at the hospital where he goes to visit the wounded warriors.
"I go over to Bethesda Naval hospital when the guys come home and show them the hospital bed is not the last place you're going to be, " he said.
"Oh my gosh, there's just no words to describe how proud I am of him, " said Todd's wife, Crystal.
Check out the video below. You have to admire the guts and determination that have carried one Marine beyond the battlefield as he fights for his own personal freedom. For a life not defined by his injuries.
"It's just one step closer to being back to normal again, " Nicely said.