For most of us, the thought of serving in the United States Armed Forces comes with a lot of “what ifs”. This wasn’t true for Kirstie Ennis. Then again, Kirstie isn’t an ordinary woman with ordinary goals. With her sights set on serving for twenty years, Kirstie began her journey at the age of 17 when she was recruited to work on helicopters and participate in aerial missions for the Marine Corps. Six years later, during her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, her helicopter fell from the sky and crashed to the ground.
Though she survived the brutal crash, the course of Kirstie’s life was forever changed. What followed were 38 surgeries to repair massive brain and jaw damage, broken bones and burns. Ultimately, she would need to have a below the knee amputation – but not before participating in the 1000 Mile Walk for Britain an annual trek that honors the fallen. Knowing that she would soon lose most of her left leg, she opted to walk barefoot to experience the sensations of different surfaces for one last time. This is just one example of how Kirstie conquers challenges that would make the rest of us cower in fear, and how her bravery proves that beauty truly comes from within.