SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - At first glance, the photo shows a typical young couple in love. But, look closely and you'll notice the man, 28-year-old Jesse Cottle, is a double amputee.
"They just had great chemistry and a great bond together, so all their pictures just turned out like the one that's being shown nationally now," photographer Sarah Ledford said.
Ledford took the picture, along with several others while Jesse and his wife Kelly were in Idaho visiting her family. The group requested Sarah's signature style: posing people in water, to which she replied, are we going to be able to get Jesse in?
"And they were like yeah. It won't be a problem. And that is when I really knew that Jesse was an amazing person because he didn't even hesitate," Ledford said.
Jesse took off his legs, hopped on people's backs and Sarah started shooting.
After posting the shot on her Facebook page, she got 500 likes within 15 minutes. Less than two weeks later, the picture has gone viral with thousands of likes, hundreds of shares, and comments.
"That's how we get around sometimes like at the beach sometimes....that's how we get around. It's just kinda normal," Kelly Cottle said.
The San Diego-based couple says they are humbled by the attention. But, being referred to as a hero is nothing new for Jesse.
Jesse joined the Marines in 2003. His job was to find and dismantle improvised explosive devices. In 2009 his life changed. Helmet video taken that day shows the accident as it happened.
"I lost both legs right away," Jesse said.
During his recovery, Jesse met his future wife at a swim meet in San Diego.
"He was just very different and not just because of his legs," Kelly said.
The two got married last year. A love story now known around the world.
"That people actually care means a lot," Kelly said.