During the last many years, first in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, the all-volunteer American military has fought bravely and successfully against a ruthless enemy willing to commit suicide, willing to kill women and children, and willing to use roadside bombs, booby traps and civilian snipers.

The cost has been high in blood and treasure.

The number of American wounded totals 41,583 according to the Department of Defense. Total KIA:5,844 (as of 11.15.11).

One wounded warrior and his fellow Marines exemplify the finest in honor, courage and duty, demonstrating that catastrophic injuries need not be the end of the story.

Garrett Jones, a veteran of hundreds of combat operations, was on foot patrol in July 2007 in Iraq with Company E, 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, when a blast from an improvised explosive device almost killed him.

Here is the actual enemy video of the attack.

Nathan Handville is the second Marine you see and Garrett Jones is the third in line. The Marine at the head of the column is Rob Pofahl.

Thanks to the quick work of his fellow Marines, Garrett’s life was saved but he lost his left leg. In order to radio a chopper for evacuation, three Marines had to run back to the command post under fire while others tended to Garrett who only had moments before he would have bled out. Rob Pofahl is the man who came to Garrett’s aid to apply the tourniquet. His quick response saved Garrett’s life.

Garrett’s dad, retired police officer Scott Jones, says he loves Handville and Pofahl like sons, and provides additional information:

Nathan is now out of the Marines – also medically retired. He lost partial use of his right hand, and he gradually lost his vision in his right eye. He is blind in that eye now. He is married and has a baby, living in his home state of Florida. Nathan was the squad leader when they got blown up. He refused any pain meds until after he knew Garrett was evacuated and taken care of.

What happened afterward is even more remarkable.

Read more: Clash Daily