Eric Fletcher enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 18, volunteered for his first tour of duty in Iraq, has been injured in combat three times and now he's earned his second Purple Heart.
It's hard to tell two grenades hit Eric Fletcher less than a month ago, crushing his femoral artery and nearly severing his achilles tendon.
Shrapnel still remains in his bruised and battered body, but nothing can bruise this young Marine's spirit. "I'm tired of sitting in bed,” he said. “I love to make them push me as hard as they can. It actually feels good. The pain doesn't feel good, but it does."
Eric's dad joins him for his second week of rehab. He says doctors are surprised that Eric's recovery is going faster than expected, but he says that's just the way his son is.
David Fletcher said his son is, "Very athletic, Very active. That's the hardest obstacle right now, is trying to be patient, try to give his body a chance to heal and recover."
But slowing down is not in Eric's future. His next step is to walk again and after that he plans to try out for Florida State's football team.
"If I can run, I'm going to do it,” Eric says. “I don't care how much pain it makes me go through. I really want to play. If I have to wait to '08, then I'll wait."
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.