It may seem unusual to want to return to a war zone after being seriously wounded during combat, but for Army Sgt. Michael Krapels, heading back to Afghanistan was all he had in mind since getting hurt. Now, three years and 20 surgeries later, he is once again serving alongside his fellow soldiers, according to American Forces Press Service.

Krapels’ injury occurred in January 2010, not long after he had arrived in Afghanistan. He was hit by machine gun fire in both his legs that left him with a severed Achilles tendon, among numerous other wounds. Eventually he was flown to ​Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and began the lengthy recovery process. Despite the challenges, he always had his eye on returning to the battlefield.

“There were times when I thought it was going to be impossible,” he told the news source. “I was told I was never going to walk right. I was told I was never going to be able to run or carry weight on my back.”

Krapels is not alone in wanting to return to active duty after becoming seriously injured. In fact, recent technological advances have made it possible for soldiers who have had a leg amputated above the knee to head back to the battlefield.