"I wouldn’t take it back ever," Jesse Cottle says, recalling that fateful day in 2009 when he stepped on an IED and blew off both his legs.
The 28-year-old Marine, who was stationed in Afghanistan at the time, told ABC News that, from that horrible incident came the happiest day of his life: The day he met his future wife.
"If I hadn’t stepped on that IED I wouldn’t have met her," Jesse insists.
Indeed, it was on one of his first times out with his prosthetic legs after months of recovery that he came across Kelly.
The two were married in August of last year.
"His personality and who he is just outweighs his injuries by so much that you forget about it after a while," Kelly said.
In honor of their first year as husband and wife, Jesse and Kelly decided to have some professional portraits taken while visiting family in Boise, Idaho.
One of the photos, which shows Jesse being carried on Kelly's back, was posted by the photographer, Sarah Ledford, on her studio's Facebook page.
It went viral almost immediately.
Within hours the photo saw its Likes jump to 1,000 — then 5,000. At the time of writing, Jesse and Kelly's heartwarming photo has been liked nearly 10,000.
"America just fell in love with Jesse and Kelly," Ledford told KTVB.
"She’s physically carrying me, but there’s times where she’s carrying me emotionally," Jesse told ABC in response to the photo becoming worldwide phenomenon. " It’s a perfect representation of who Kelly is."
[photos via ShutterHappy Photography]