U.S. Army veteran Josh Wetzel lost both of his legs in 2012, as a result of stepping on an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan (video below).
He has since worked hard to overcome that injury, fathering a child with his wife, Paige, and working towards a bachelor’s degree at Auburn University, which he will receive in 2016, reports Little Things.
In honor of his accomplishments, Wetzel’s wife put together a lavish tribute for his 30th birthday, including one extra-special surprise.
Auburn’s Jordan-Hare football stadium was the scene of the celebration, in which a specially made video was broadcast on the the stadium’s massive video screen, documenting highlights of the happy couple’s previous year.
Wetzel was led out onto the field, where he watched the video surrounded by friends, family and even the Auburn mascot tiger.
When it was revealed that one of his gifts was tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament, he probably thought that was going to be the biggest surprise of the day.
But when a sonogram video of a baby appeared on the screen, he broke into tears, realizing his wife was pregnant with their second child.
It was a fitting tribute to a citizen who, like so many others, has sacrificed so much through their military service.
As of 2012, the year Wetzel was wounded in action, 1,572 members of the U.S. military had major limb amputations, 486 of whom had multiple amputations, according to The Huffington Post.
Of the amputees, 83 percent have lost one or both legs, mostly from the blast of improvised explosive devices, which is what led to Wetzel’s amputations.