Life is unpredictably unpredictable. People from your past who you never expected to see again can appear out of nowhere. That’s what happened to Todd Love, a soldier. Nine years later, he saw the man who had saved his life — on an airplane, of all places. Cpl. Todd Love was on a tour in Afghanistan in 2010. He’d been a Marine for a year and was assigned to the 1st Recon Battalion at the time.
Then he walked right into an IED. In the blast, Love lost the lower half of his body and nearly di-ed. While a firefight raged around them, he was picked up by helicopter. The pilot was able to save his life. When Love awoke several operations later, he faced a long road to recovery. Fortunately, he had survived. Love, like anyone else, struggled at first to accept his situation. He didn’t want to look at his injuries, and adjusting to life without legs was difficult.
He was able to accept his situation and move forward with the help of his family, his resilient outlook, and his prior training. “I think my gratitude for everything was what relieved the most of my suffering,” Todd said. Love had turned his disability into a way to help others as well as himself nine years after the day that changed his life. Being able to share what had happened to him with others allowed him to truly accept it, and only strengthened him.
“It’s humbling to know that these people come from all walks of life, are all practicing their professions, and are of various nationalities, skin tones, and belief systems,” he said. “All I know is that they owe me my life.” Then, while in Denver with his old platoon for a fundraising training activity, a commercial airline pilot approached him immediately after boarding the plane.
He introduced himself as Capt. Marc Vincequere and inquired about his military experience. When he replied, “Afghanistan 2010,” Vincequere said. Love was taken aback. The pilot then informed him that he was the pilot who had rescued him during the firefight by helicopter. Love was taken aback. He couldn’t believe the person who had saved his life was standing right in front of him once more. They took a photo together, which Love then posted online. It naturally went viral.