Auburn’s Paige and Josh Wetzel release ‘Beautifully Broken’ memoir

Alabama News

AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A wounded warrior and his steadfast wife are baring their souls in a new memoir entitled Beautifully Broken: An Unlikely Journey of Faith.

Many remember the iconic 2012 photo of Paige and Josh Wetzel praying with President Obama inside Walter Reed shortly after Josh lost both legs in an Afghanistan explosion. Paige had asked President Obama if the couple could pray for him during his time in the White House.

President Obama’s photographer captured the image showing Josh wearing an Auburn University t-shirt, holding hands with the President with AU posters decorating his room at Walter Reed Hospital.

The couples re-telling of those challenging days in their new memoir, Beautifully Broken, is already receiving rave reviews on Amazon and other online sellers:

“Most books are just words on pages. BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN is much more than that. It’s a story of love, faith, and heroic conduct, unmatched in my view. What happened after Josh was wounded is related and emotionally in the book. After you read BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN, you will never be the same.”~Bill O’Reilly, journalist, author, and former television host

“The early morning phone call. The terrifying visit to Walter Reed. The rehab and the tears and the struggles and the triumphs of spirit and love. A must-read for the 99% of us who enjoy the freedoms the other 1% sacrifice so much to defend.” ~Jake Tapper, CNN anchor and author of The Outpost

Josh and Paige and Walter Reed

Josh and Paige Wetzel tell News 3 they wanted to write about their experience to help others avoid the mistakes they made after Josh was wounded.

“We don’t want to tell a story of our resilience, or anything like that. We wanted to tell a story of the dark, hard places we found ourselves in because we decided to try and do things on our own, and it didn’t serve us too well,” shared Paige.

Josh remembers struggling after he left the military and continued his recovery once released from Walter Reed. He says Paige never left his side and helped him navigate the challenges the couple faced.

“When I got out of the hospital. I went into a dark, deep place. It was rough on me, our marriage, and our family. Paige stuck by me the entire time and got me back into the community,” said Josh.

The importance of community is a recurring theme in the book, and the Auburn University family plays a leading role. Paige remembers feeling AU claimed her family as they worked to rebuild a new life in Auburn.

Auburn’s Hero

The relationship began when Josh was in the hospital. AU’s Kate Larkin, who works in AU Alumni Affairs, heard about a wounded warrior at Walter Reed, a big Auburn fan. Kate asked her daughter Anna, who lived near the hospital, to visit the couple. The meeting led to the AU family falling in love with The Wetzels.

“The Auburn community just rallied around us. From going back to school, to building our house, to finishing school and getting a job, and Paige’s job too, Auburn has just been huge,” shared Wetzel.

Josh and Paige completed the book before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The couple believes the timing and the purpose of their words on the page are perfect.

“So many people are hurting in 2020. When you talk about the hard or even the embarrassing things, it pays a dividend when you bare a piece of your soul for the sake of someone else having an easier time going forward with their struggle,” shared Paige.

For more information on The Wetzels and Beautifully Broken, you can visit this link: Beautifully Broken: An Unlikely Journey of Faith.

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