Portrait of wife carrying Marine amputee husband goes viral

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BOISE, IDAHO – An Idaho couple makes you believe that true love does exist. A photo of the former Marine on his wife’s back has gone viral and his hitting the hearts of thousands.

Marine Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle’s world was forever changed in 2009. Jesse’s job was to find and dismantle improvised explosive devices in Afganistan.

“About 5 hours into that patrol, into that mission, I was struck by an anti-personnel IED. It was a pressure plate, I stepped on it and lost both legs right away.” said Former Marine, EOD Technician Jesse Cottle. “It was tough, it is tough in general, but I just kind of always had the attitude that it’s really tough now but things will just be okay, and I had my family around me I had good friends and basically just my faith really helped me to carry me through it. I was lucky to be able to go through the tough recovery, and then still live my life, and meet my beautiful wife.’

He met Kelly during his recovery. She was swimming for the Boise State

They were married in 2012. They live in San Diego nowbut they were in Idaho visiting Kelly’s family when they took family portraits. Photographer Sarah Ledford suggested a picture in the water.

“So we said ‘well, you can just pop off your legs and get on one of our backs and we’ll take you in’ and so, ’cause that’s just how we get around sometimes, like at the beach. We do it all the time. It’s just pretty normal, so he hopped back on my back and then Sarah’s like ‘oh, we’ll take some couples shots.'” said Sarah Ledford of Shutterhappy Photography.

Ledford posted one of those shots on her facebook page. She had no idea the image of Kelly carrying Jesse on her back would get the reaction it did. Now, Jesse and Kelly are an inspiration to thousands and a reminder of the sacrifices being made by our military everyday.

See the picture and the comments on Facebook. Click here.

By: Maggie O’Mara CNN