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While on his second tour in Afghanistan, Joshua Sweeney was sent airborne after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED). His legs badly injured, he waited two hours for rescue vehicles, which were delayed since they, too, initiated IED explosions en route. The marine sergeant miraculously survived the ordeal, even receiving a Purple Heart for his bravery during war, but lost both of his legs in the aftermath.
Sweeney's loss, though traumatic, wasn't a game-ender. In fact, the sportsman represented Team USA's sled hockey team in Sochi, Russia, this year, where he and his comrades snagged the gold medal during the Paralympic Games.
His Hillsboro, Oregon, community is now honoring his international efforts by building him a new home, which will be fully equipped with a sprinkler system. For more information on this build, visit NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative blog.