LIFE

Hikers Look Closer At Man’s Backpack, Realize He’s Carrying A Fellow Marine Who Lost His Legs

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

Ten years ago, John Nelson and Jonathon Blank were stationed in Afghanistan, serving together in a special operations unit of the Marine Corps.

In 2010, the pair of Marines were on a mission when a bomb exploded. Jonathon lost both of his legs but miraculously survived. He spent the next three years in recovery, which required him to undergo at least 60 surgeries.

Experiencing war bonded John and Jonathon for life. Despite the fact they are back home in the States, they still spend so much time together. And despite the fact Jonathon has no legs, he still loves the outdoors, going on adventures and even hiking.

Ever since Jonathon moved to Utah, he’d been dreaming of taking on Mount Timpanogos, one of the state’s most popular destinations for hikers.

In August 2019, John asked Jonathon a question to which he just couldn’t say no: John asked if he wanted to hike Timpanogos.

Jonathon, of course, was more than up for the adventure. But this meant John would be carrying his 135-pound friend over 14 miles up the steep mountainside … all by himself.

John and Jonathon set out on their journey, not expecting it to take such an emotional turn.

Two other hikers were heading down the trail when they spotted a man carrying what they thought was a large backpack. But when they took a closer look, they were left speechless — resulting in a series of now-viral photos.

Footage provided by KSTU Salt Lake City

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