(COLORADO SPRINGS) — John Register joined the military to pursue his dreams of one day becoming an Olympian.

“I decided to go into the military because they had a world-class athlete program. And the world class adaptive program would allow a soldier to train for two or three years prior to the next Olympic Games,” said Register. “And my dream was to make an Olympic team.”

The Army World Class Active Program is a program where soldiers can train for the Olympic games while also protecting our country.

Register served in operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He won nine gold medals in the Armed Services Competition and two World Military Championships.

“I went to the Gulf War, came back without a scratch, and went on to make my second Olympic trials in the 400-meter hurdles,” stated Register. “Then after that, I was on my way to officer candidate school, had been boarded and was going to make a life career out of the military.”

When returning back from the Gulf War, Register was practicing for the Olympics when he had an accident that would change his life.

“What happened was the wind in Hays, Kansas, where I was training was blowing really hard that day and I just couldn’t get my steps right,” said Register. “I wound up going across a hurdle dislocating my left leg, and my knee hyperextended. And then seven days later I wound up becoming an amputee.”

Seven years later, Register went from a hospital bed to competing in the Paralympics. He initially began swimming for his physical therapy.

Register recovering in hospital after the accident.

“Before the team was announced, I said, ‘Well, I didn’t make the team, but, you know, go down to Atlanta, have a great time, you know, thanks for the opportunity,'” said Register. “They said your 50-meter time at the flip turn was underneath the qualifying time for the games. We picked you up for our relay. I said, Are you kidding me?”

While at the Paralympic Games, Register saw athletes running on the track with artificial limbs.

“So four years later, I wind up going to the Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and winning this Paralympic silver medal in the long jump,” stated Register.

Register and his family at the Paralympics.

Register now serves as acting President and CEO of Amputee Coalition an organization helping and empowering amputees and their families.

“So what you do is you use education, advocacy resources, to make sure that that person has the plethora of opportunity to advance in their life,” said Register.

Register works to inspire those with limb loss and share with others the spirit of service.

“So I want to pour into others with the spirit of service in such a high capacity that that begins to be measured through what I call echo moments,” said Register. “Ripples go out from us, but echoes come back.”