In this week’s Salute to Service, Regiment wanted to feature one of our own. Corporal Todd Nicely is a member of Regiment and an avid Warzone player. When he isn’t playing video games, he is actively working to help and motivate other fellow disabled veterans through their life struggles and hardships.
Cpl. Nicely is no stranger to adversity. As a disabled veteran himself, Todd struggles to do even basic things around the house. Regardless, though, Cpl. Nicely is a U.S. Marine and he overcomes and adapts. In a recent interview, I asked Todd some questions about his experiences and what happened on that dreadful day he was hurt.
Tim: Date of injury was March 26, 2010. What happened?
Todd: We were on a patrol coming home back to the base when we had to cross a bridge. I stopped my patrol and continued forward up to the bridge and that’s when I stepped on the improvised explosive device that sent me into the air and caused me to lose both my arms and legs.
Tim: Your mother said in the Homeland Diaries: America’s Veterans documentary that you don’t like being called a hero. Why?
Todd: I don’t like being called a hero because I believe that the men who didn’t come home are the heroes. I am just a man who got to come home and see my family.
Tim: At the end of the documentary, it was mentioned you are studying finance. Are you still in school?
Todd: No. I’m no longer in school. I had some obligations to take care of, so I never got to finish.
Tim: How did you hear about Regiment and why did you join?
Todd: I heard about Regiment from another gamer. I decided to join because it was an all-veteran organization and I thought that was pretty neat. I hadn’t seen or heard of that before.
Tim: I noticed you are grinding a lot of Warzone. Do you like to play any other video games?
Todd: No. Warzone is pretty much my go-to game. I have thought of playing other games, but I just can’t get myself to do it.
Tim: Can you tell us about your unique PC setup for playing games?
Todd: I have a desktop where the controllers or joysticks are separated so my upper extremities can use them. I use my left wrist for the left joystick and my right elbow for the right joystick. There’s an arcade style button pad that is right above my right joystick that I can reach up and touch. To aim and shoot, I use my legs.
Tim: Being from Missouri, you’re a St. Louis Blues hockey fan and, in 2013, had the opportunity to cheer on the team before the 3rd period. How cool was that experience?
Todd: It was definitely a great experience. The St. Louis Blues organization is very generous to their veterans. I also got to ride the Zamboni, which was pretty cool. It’s not often you get to do that type of thing and I’m very grateful that they gave me an opportunity.
Tim: In closing, I want to thank you for your time and more importantly your service. You are an inspiration to others and all of us here at Regiment.
Last question. Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share with us?
Todd: I would like to say to any veteran that is struggling with the thought of suicide, please reach out. I am someone who tried to commit suicide due to my injuries from war. I learned the hard way that there is always someone out there who needs you, even if it’s just one person. Don’t take your life away from that one person that needs you.
It was an honor and a privilege to interview such an inspirational person. His courage, sacrifice, and perseverance is why Corporal Todd A. Nicely is this week’s Regiment Salute to Service nominee.
To hear more about Todd’s amazing story and journey, check out the videos below.