Rare Under 40 honoree, BT Urruela, humbly accepted his award in the nation’s capital, Saturday night. Urruela, chose to have his right leg amputated following complications from an IED blast in Iraq. He was honored for the work he’s done to enhance veterans’ lives since sustaining his injuries.

During his acceptance speech, Urruela –a man of few words– thanked those who nominated him for the Rare Under 40 award, and deflected the spotlight from himself and his work with VETSports, instead, opting to put the spotlight on his support system.

On Friday, before the awards, Urruela helped promote the Rare Under 40 on local news in Washington, and on Facebook.

Since suffering his injury, Urruela has reinvented himself as a model, veteran athlete, author, and philanthropist. He says he’s inspired by, “the men and women throughout this country who overcome injuries, disabilities and illnesses” far greater than his. He hopes to motivate and inspire others who are dealing with their own issues.

Looking ahead to 2016, Urruela says he’s on target to publish three novels.

It looks like he had a great time in D.C. with his fellow honorees.

Serving his country left wounds, but what happened next changed him forever Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Rare
Yolanda R. Arrington is a content editor for Rare. Tweet her @iamyolanda and like her on Facebook.
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