Micah Herndon ran Monday's Boston Marathon to pay tribute to comrades who were killed in an attack while he was serving in Afghanistan, reports Ohio's Record-Courier.
But Herndon became even more of an inspiration when a video of him crawling to the finish line went viral.
Herndon ran the race for marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, along with British journalist Rupert Hamer, who were killed by an improvised explosive device in 2010.
"I run in honor of them,” Herndon told the Record-Courier before the race. "They are not here anymore. I am here, and I am able. I am lucky to still have all my limbs. I can still be active. I find fuel in the simple idea that I can run. Some cannot.
"If I get a heat cramp while running or my feet hurt or I am getting exhausted, I just keep saying their names out loud to myself. They went through much worse, so I run for them and their families."
Herndon finished the race in three hours and 38 minutes.