GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) Army veteran JP Lane says his service in the military taught him something that he took taught to heart.
“Never give up, never surrender,” he said.
The Purple Heart recipient lost both his legs at the age of 23 after an explosion overseas, but says he’s now stronger than ever.
“[If] you try kicking my legs, it’s going to hurt you not me,” he said.
JP was inspired to enlist with the military in 2008.
“The idea of joining actually came back when I was in 8th grade after watching the twin towers fall on the news,” he said. “I went in and asked the recruiter, ‘what’s the most dangerous job that I could sign up for right now?’ He said, ‘you want to make bombs and search for bombs overseas?’ I said, ‘yeah that sounds like a blast, let’s do that!'”
A rebel child growing up, the combat engineer was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010.
“Searching for IEDs and clearing routes to make sure other soldiers could go safely on their missions, sounded like a very honorable thing to do,” he said.
July 2nd, 2011 was JP’s day off, but his platoon sergeant needed volunteers for a big mission.
“Our job that day was to clear the most dangerous route in our area of operation, not only once but twice which wasn’t normal,” he said.
Things quickly went downhill from the get-go.
“The truck in front of me was immediately blown up,” he said. “Everybody was okay, [but] the truck was totaled.”
The clock was ticking while a new crew had to come in to finish the mission.
“The Taliban had plenty of time to bury a bigger, stronger IED in the same hole we were just blown up in that morning,” he said.
JP was in the driver’s seat as they returned to clear the route one last time.
“The Taliban, who was watching, picked my truck and pressed the trigger,” he said. “It went straight through my truck, penetrated all the armor that’s underneath my vehicle and flipped us up onto the passenger side.”
The explosion immediately severed JP’s right foot, on top of other major injuries.
“It snapped my left femur in half, my pelvis snapped in half, my spine dislocated from my pelvis, my right arm snapped in half, I lost my right middle finger, my four front teeth were knocked out,” he said. “Then everything inside my torso was destroyed by shrapnel except for my heart and my left lung.”
JP says he’s lucky to even be alive.
“I received 26 total injuries, both internal and external, and I’ve had 28 surgeries to this day,” he said. “Even doctors have said, ‘there’s no way you should be alive right now. There’s no way that you should do this or do that.’ There’s so many things that they’re clueless on.”
Even when things were looking down, JP rebounded in a huge way. He’s now a singer, motivational speaker and an author. He just released his book called, “Walking Again” on September, 11th, 2019 – inspiring others that nothing is impossible.
“I’m walking, living proof that you can overcome anything as long as you put your heart and mind into it,” he said. “Everything I do in life, I need to have that mindset of never give up, never surrender.”
To purchase your copy of Walking Again, click here.
You can learn more about JP’s story on his website by clicking here.
JP is also working on a musical album with all original songs. He says it’s expected to be released sometime in 2020.