Corporal Todd Nicely Biosketch
Corporal Todd Nicely, a native of Arnold, Mo., outside St. Louis, found his calling in the Marines. He loved being responsible for younger Marines, and loved being, at age 26, “the old man.” He had also found his wife, Crystal, age 24. Crystal, a native of Wathena, Kan., was a Marine, too, when the couple met first on the Internet. They were stationed at nearby bases in North Carolina. After dating for several months, they were married Feb. 20, 2009, in Jacksonville, N.C.
Corporal Todd Nicely had served a tour with the Marines in Iraq in 2008 before being sent to Afghanistan in 2009 and placed in charge of 12 Marines in the 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd. Marines. On March 26, 2010, in his fifth month of duty near the town of Lakari in southern Afghanistan, Nicely was leading his infantrymen during a routine security patrol. While crossing a crude, single-file bamboo bridge over the canal he stepped on an improvised explosive device buried at the foot of the bridge. The bomb contained 40 pounds of homemade explosives. Corporal Nicely not only lost his arms, but his legs too, becoming only the second American to survive the Afghanistan war after losing all four limbs.
After receiving emergency medical help from his platoon and a medic in a nearby platoon, Nicely was transported to the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany and then flown back to Washington, D.C. to Walter Reed’s Military Advanced Training Center, where amputees get physical and occupational therapy. He advanced rapidly in the therapy and even mastered how to drive a specially equipped automobile.
Corporal Todd Nicely is a rehabilitation success story. His courageous attitude about his injury provides the keystone for his impressive progress. It is the support that permits all the other pieces to fall into place. He considers himself lucky to be alive and wakes up every morning grateful for a second chance at life.