LOS ANGELES – Pfc. Kyle Hockenberry, 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, joined the Army out of high school in 2010, the realization of a dream for a man deeply devoted to his family and his country.
On Hockenberry's first deployment to Afghanistan, the Ohio native was engaged in a firefight in Haji Ramuddin when he stepped on an IED that cost him his left arm and both legs, and took the life of his brother in combat, Spc. Nick Hensley.
A photograph of Hockenberry fighting for his life onboard a helicopter, with the tattooed words “For those I love I will sacrifice” visible on his rib-cage, went viral.
On the season premiere of the CMT reality show “Guntucky,”the Sumner family, who own and operate the Knob Creek Gun Range in Bullit County, Ky., outfit Hockenberry with a modified 50-caliber machine gun so he can shoot again for the first time since receiving his devastating injuries.
“I have a real soft spot for our veterans, and sometimes we forget the wounded ones,” Steven Sumner told FOX411. “It was a very heartfelt moment watching him shoot his 50-caliber machine gun again.”
Sumner spent time working with Hockenberry’s wife, making such adjustments as modifying the deck of the gun so he could shoot it with one hand, to surprise him with a custom rig that allows him to shoot the firearms he trained on.
“My biggest goal was to make sure the gun was safe for Kyle,” Sumner insisted. “Everything we do safety comes first.”
“Guntucky” returns to CMT on Saturday April 5.
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