Purple Heart recipient says his ‘smile’ is his medal

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Inspiring People
Photo via WINK News.

One heroic veteran is a Purple Heart award recipient and a marathon runner. He said his greatest medal is one you can achieve right now though.

Cedric King overcame the odds after surviving a bomb explosion, and he is using his experience to inspire others.

“That car right there runs on whatever fuel. Our life runs on attitude,” King said. “They’re seeing me face incredible odds with a smile on my face.”

King said it was mind over matter when he ran the Boston Marathon. The U.S. Army veteran was racing with a new attitude and new legs after his second tour in Afghanistan changed his life.

“I lost both my legs to a bomb,” King said. “This is the greatest gift in my life.”

It’s not what you might expect someone to say about losing both legs, but King believes becoming a double amputee didn’t break him; it made him.

“Better. A little bit bigger, a little bit stronger,” King said. “I feel like this is the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave me an unbreakable frame of mind.”

King travels to hospitals and schools, and he visited Southwest Florida recently.

“I got a chance to come down here and do a presentation for the Red Sox,” King said.

King motivates others with his message about overcoming obstacles through a positive perspective.

“I use my legs as a metaphor on how to attack the new day,” King said. “When things go wrong is when you start to get a little bit better. Men win medals not because everything goes right, because something went wrong, but the people go right.”

King received the Purple Heart for his sacrifices. He is retired from the army now, but he continues to serve.

“The smile that I wear in spite of this is the medal that I wear,” King said.

King motivates others to wear their scars with pride and a smile. He said these signs of survival are the ultimate medal.

“You can always find a way to put your arms around someone that’s having a bad day,” King said. “I want to help people live a better day.”

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