Triple amputee vet takes on skydiving, alligator wrestling

(CBS News) HIRAM, Ga. -- When CBS News met Todd Love last year, he was learning how to kayak, and that's no small accomplishment, because Love is a triple amputee. As a U.S. Recon Marine in Afghanistan two years ago, he lost both legs and his left forearm to a landmine.

Love said then that kayaking didn't completely satisfy his need for adventure.

Watch: CBS News first met Todd Love when he was learning how to kayak, at left.

"I want to go skydiving soon," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem to do that."

He was right. Since then, he's done four tandem jumps and hopes to eventually dive solo.

And that wasn't the end of his wish list.

"I've always wanted to wrestle an alligator," he said.

Todd Love took on skydiving to satisfy his need for adventure.
Todd Love took on skydiving to satisfy his need for adventure.
CBS News

Animal Planet got word of that and invited Love to appear on "Gator Boys."

"The whole time, I was kind of thinking, 'I hope this gator doesn't get tired of me being on top of him, 'cause I'm bite-sized,'" Love said.

Love also recently became a fully certified scuba diver.

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"I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to," he said. "And for me, that's way more than having two legs. It's priceless."

He put his mind to surfing and was doing handstands within minutes.

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And he can't get enough of the demolition derby -- in a car he controls by hand. Love said that was the most intense of all his activities.

"I would say the adrenaline rush was probably the most significant," he said. "It's up there with combat."

Todd Love
Todd Love
CBS News

His next adventure: going to college. It makes him more nervous, he said, than jumping out of a plane, but he's determined to succeed.

Love doesn't spend a lot of time feeling sorry for himself.

"I don't have a reason to feel sorry for myself," he said. "A lot of times, no conversation at all, people will come up to me and thank me for my service, and I see the tears in their eyes and there's not much that I can say. In my mind, I'm thinking I wish these people knew -- I wish they knew what I was thinking, how much I love my life."

Love said he's always on the lookout for a new adventure and predicted he'll still be doing "something crazy" when he's 90 years old.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.

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