Corporal Todd Nicely, a native of Arnold, Missouri found his calling as a mentor for junior Marines. At the ripe old age of 26, he earned the title of “Old Man Marine.”
Todd met his wife, Crystal, also a Marine, at the age of 24. The couple were stationed at different bases, but within proximity of one another in North Carolina. They married on February 20th, 2009 in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Todd had already served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2008 before re-deploying to Afghanistan in 2009, where he was directly responsible for the lives of 12 junior Marines in the 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines.
On March 26th, 2010 Corporal Nicely was leading 1st Squad back from a security patrol when, just as he began to cross the bridge, he stepped on a pressure-activated land mine. 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.
Todd had lost all his limbs on that battlefield. His recovery depended on spirit and grueling therapy. Amazingly, dramatic improvement followed, to the extent that he even mastered to drive a specially equipped automobile.