WASHINGTON D.C. (WLFI) - It isn't easy to take your first steps for the second time in your life, especially when those legs aren't your own.
"It's a slow process to learn how to walk again," said 23-year-old Lafayette Marine Cpl. Mathew Bowman.
Bowman lost both his legs in February while serving in Afghanistan.
"They were athletes before they were injured. They lose all that within a few weeks," explained Clinical Supervisor for Physical Therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. Bo Bergeron. "They are basically starting from square one and building back that endurance. In order for them to walk in the community, they have to be that much stronger than you or I."
To be able to walk again, Bowman has had to strengthen his legs, hips and core muscles while doing physical and occupational therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
It took Bowman just two months after he was injured to take his first step this spring. It was the earliest doctors would allow him to try. His family was there to witness it.
"As soon as I took my first step, my son was in the stroller next to me. He yelled 'Daddy's walking!'" Bowman said. "It brought tears to my eyes. The same day, my youngest son Brett, he started walking the same day. He's one."
That didn't surprise Paige.
"My wife always said that was what he was waiting for, for me to start walking," Bowman said.
Bowman will have a number of prosthetics, but his first are called shorties. They will get taller and taller as Bowman gets farther and farther along on his recovery process.
"Very low to the ground, no knee joint for about four months all together. We very gradually over that four month period increase their height," Bergeron said. "Then at four to six months, we add knees to them."
"When I first started walking with them I could only take about maybe ten steps before I had to sit down," Bowman said. "Now, I am able to do an entire lap."
While Bowman is taking small steps, he is also doing occupational therapy for his hands, which were severely damaged in the explosion.
"Doing some pinching with silly putty or some of those laundry pins," Bowman said.
With all the rehabilitation, it can be easy to tire, but Bowman's father Ken said his son is determined to take care of himself.
"He doesn't want us to help him," Ken Bowman said. "He wants to do it on his own. As a parent, a lot of pride for him accomplishing what he is doing."
NewsChannel 18 will air the third and final part to this series Road to Recovery Thursday at six and eleven. You can read the first installment to the series by clicking on the story Road to Recovery: Marine talks injures .
We are tracking the possibility of floods this weekend with melting snow and chances of rain.
Lafayette police are asking for the public's help to find a man wanted for domestic battery, criminal confinement, and theft.
Interstate 65 through the Lafayette area will eventually expand to three lanes in both directions. It will cost about $69 million to expand the highway, from State Road 38 to State Road 25.