FORT SILL, Okla. (Oct. 17, 2022) — JP Lane, a motivational speaker, Army Veteran and double amputee spoke with Soldiers from the 75th Field Artillery Brigade Oct. 17, 2022.
Lane, motivated to join the Army by 9/11 attacks, told the story of what kept him going after losing both legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2011.
Watching the Twin Towers fall in 2001 had a profound effect on Lane and in 2008, at 20 years old, he joined the Army as a combat engineer. While serving in Afghanistan he was hit in three separate IED attacks — the last took both legs.
“I was deployed in 2010 to search for improvised explosive devices,” Lane told the audience. “I was blown up three separate times and the third one got me. On July 2 , 2011, I was blown up by a 200 pound IED while on mission.”
Lane described the recovery and hardships following the blast, including a six month coma and enduring 28 surgeries. Despite being told by doctors that he would never walk on prosthetics, he maintained a strong foundation of resiliency and learned to use prosthetics to walk again.
He shared his pillars to maintaining a resilient foundation- physical, mental, social, and spiritual. Staying strong in these pillars helped Lane power through his hard times, never giving up on himself or listening to the naysayers, he said.
While many amputees would have accepted the loss of their limbs or taken the doctors’ evaluations at face value, Lane instead chose to use his trauma as a way to continue to serve and help fellow soldiers and veterans. Through telling his story and his music he said he hopes others find inspiration.
“I joined the Army, to serve and protect the American people, and since I am still alive, by the grace of God, I will still serve. Retirement is just a word,” said Lane. “I also do motivational speaking to share my story and give hope to those who need it. I let people know to ‘Never Give Up, Never Surrender.’”
Lane, who has since gone on to become a recording artist, both singing and playing guitar, ended his speech to the 75th Field Artillery Brigade with a song performance. Lane spent two days at Fort Sill, speaking with various formations across post.
“It was very inspiring how he overcame everything that happened to him, and it was moving just to see him smile,” said Demerius Hutchison, 75th Field Artillery Brigade, while holding back tears. “The doctors told him he would not be able to walk on prosthetics, and he said, ‘Yes, I will.’ Life kept pushing him down and he kept standing right back up. That definitely sparked a motor in my head to get up and keep moving.”