At Boston College High School, Nick Lavery was a strong safety on the football team, and at UMass Lowell, he was an outside linebacker. When he enters a cafe in Braintree on a recent morning, he fills the doorway. When he orders breakfast, it’s eight eggs, hash browns, and toast.
At 6-feet-5, Lavery weighs 220 pounds. “My leg was about 50 pounds, so I’m about 50 pounds lighter than I would be,” he notes.
That would be his right leg, which was amputated below the knee last year after an Afghan police officer opened fire on Lavery’s Green Beret team. His story is one of courage and selflessness, and offers a humbling lesson in this holiday season that is often more about getting than about giving.