Disabled Marine Vet Visits A Little Boy To Show Him That His Disability Can't Hold Him Back

August 18, 2016

Jose Luis Sanchez was a Marine sergeant serving in Afghanistan in 2011 when he stepped on an IED and lost his left leg and 90 percent of his right calf in the blast.

disabled marine vet visits kid with prosthetic limb
Instagram

Sanchez had always prided himself on his fitness. Depressed about his condition, Sanchez closed himself off to the world. He didn't want people to see him weakened.

"I became a complete introvert," Sanchez said. "I just wanted to workout to become the person I used to be."

For four long years Sanchez focused solely on getting himself back into peak physical shape, rarely interacting with others. When he exercised, he covered up his wounds.

"I didn't want to show my wounds because I didn't want anyone to look down on me," Sanchez said. "I didn't want to hear that negativity; I felt ugly. Nobody wants to see those wounds, hell I don't even want to see them."

But after four years, Sanchez realized he needed the support of others, so he started to open himself up. It began with posting Instagram videos of his workouts. While still hesitant to show his wounds, the response online was staggering (he currently has over 23,000 followers) and overwhelmingly positive.

disabled marine vet visits kid with prosthetic limb
Instagram

On Apr. 18, 2016, Sanchez ran the Boston Marathon.

"I want to lead by example," said Sanchez. "I hope that some people see what I've done and it invokes that fire within them to get over whatever is holding them back."

disabled marine vet visits kid with prosthetic limb
Instagram

This week, Sanchez visited Diego, a boy born without his right leg and only two fingers on his right hand. Despite his physical challenges, Diego wants to follow in his father's footsteps and become an Army soldier.

Sanchez showed Diego that his disabilities can't hold him back.

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