Double amputee Marine from Delano takes his first steps

A war veteran from Delano is determined to learn how to walk again. Marine Corporal Jorge Salazar came home from the war a double amputee.

A war veteran from Delano is determined to walk again.  Marine Corporal Jorge Salazar came home from the war a double amputee.

"Before I joined or before I got injured, I knew there was Veterans Day, but I really didn't think much of it," said Salazar. "Now that I'm hurt, it means a lot more now."

It has been three months since Salazar lost both his legs when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while protecting his platoon in Afghanistan. He has to learn how to walk all over again.

"I can't just get up and walk five feet to grab something. I have to roll back and sit down. That's the hardest part," he explained.

Salazar spends eight hours a day in physical therapy in San Diego. Part of that recovery includes playing basketball with other veterans who are wheelchair-bound.

"You have to push with your arms, and then you have to be able to shoot and defend. It's a whole different game," he explained.

When Salazar's not in therapy, he is grateful for every moment he spends with his family.

"The good side about me losing my legs, I can spend a lot more time with my son now. Me and him have a great time together," said Salazar.

Just a few months ago, Salazar spent his days inside Naval Medical Center San Diego.

A recent infection in his leg set Salazar back a few weeks, but his fighting spirit keeps him going.

"He pushed himself a lot harder than, like, I seen a lot of people do," said Analeecia Salazar, Jorge Salazar's wife.

"It just seems like he'll be going through it faster. It just seems like he wants to be able to walk already," she continued.

In a home video that was shot Thursday, you can see Salazar take his first steps. He is using "stubbies," which are shortened prosthetic legs.

"I knew I wasn't going to take off running like I used to," explained Salazar.

As Salazar learns to walk again, no one is more excited than his son, 19-month-old Jorge Jr.

"When I would turn around, he would think I was chasing him so he'd want me to chase him," he continued.

Salazar soon will be chasing two little ones. He and his wife are expecting their second son in January.

Salazar will be fitted for prosthetic legs in about a month. After that, he will continue his physical therapy.

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