ABC News crew members were on hand four years ago as current DynCorp International employee Mark Little suffered what he calls the worst day of his life.
Then a 2nd Lt. in the Army, Little was serving in Iraq when he was injured by a roadside bomb – eventually causing him to lose both his legs. The bomb detonated as he was making his way to deliver supplies.
While his injury may have devastated most, ABC News captured a then 24-year-old who hadn’t lost his sense of humor, even during an incredibly difficult moment.
Even while suffering, he joked about what his mother’s initial reaction would be.
“I had been underplaying what I was actually doing in the deployment, ‘oh I am sitting around in a secure area, I am working in a warehouse,’ not to worry her, I thought this going to be trouble, she is going to know I wasn’t sitting in a warehouse,” Little recalls.
An Optimistic Spirit
In his recent interview with ABC News, Little was just as positive and light hearted as he was the day of the incident, but this time standing proudly on prosthetic legs.
“It’s just the way I am,” Little says. “It’s easier to smile than cry and you don’t accomplish anything by complaining.”
Beyond his personal accomplishments of not only getting back to an active lifestyle running, walking and even playing hockey, Little participates in the 46th Special Forces Company (ABN) Association and USA Warriors Ice Hockey team.
46th Special Forces Company (ABN) Association
The 46th Special Forces Company (ABN) Association, which operates out of Thailand, raises money for Wounded Warriors to travel on R&R with their families.
The association sells Purple Heart shirts and hats through their online store and is able to send families on cruises and other vacation destinations.
USA Warriors Ice Hockey Team
Little also participates in the USA Warriors Ice Hockey Program, which operates exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, for wounded United States Military personnel in conjunction with the USA Disabled Hockey Program.
The non-profit program provides a recreational, therapeutic and motivating experience for participants while educating the general public about disability sports and sacrifices made by the U.S. military.
Looking Back With No Regrets
“There is a reason for everything that happened that way,” Little says. “And during that process of forming who I am right now, as I sit here to talk to you, I got more of the traits that my wife fell in love with, so imagine had that not happened, we’d be sitting here on very different terms, decidedly single and unhappy, versus what I am right now, which is the happiest I could imagine, nothing could be better.”
Today, Little works with DynCorp International in the Intelligence Training & Solutions business area.
Darin Powers, VP, Intelligence Training & Solutions, said of Little, “He is an amazing individual and we are honored to have him as part of our staff.”