A US Navy veteran gave Los Angeles Lakers fans something to celebrate at Crypto.com Arena on Monday night before the Indiana Pacers won the game with a buzzer.
Annika Hutsler, who had a leg amputated in 2019, was sitting in the crowd at the arena. When she was named a “gaming fan”, she took off her prosthetic leg and drank a beer.
His drink earned him a $100 gift card, according to TMZ Sports.
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Hutsler was named Miss November 2023 in the 17th Annual Pin-Ups for Vets Calendar. The award-winning nonprofit, founded in 2006 by California resident Gina Elise, raises funds to support hospitalized and deployed troops. It produces explosive World War II-inspired calendars with veterans as models.
She told Fox News Digital in October 2019 that she was “in awe” of herself when she first became a glam girl.
FLASHBACK: USMC VET ANNIKA HUTSLER TRANSFORMS INTO A PINUP MODEL AFTER LEG AMPUTATION: ‘LIFE DOESN’T END AFTER TRAGEDY’
“I’m a model, so I’ve seen what I look like on camera,” Hutsler said at the time. “But with the hair, makeup, and dresses, I looked like someone from that era… I just remember walking in [on set] and seeing all the ready dresses. The music of that time was playing. It was a really fun experience getting dressed up like that.”
Hutsler said she was “very lost in life” before enlisting in the Marine Corps in 2017. At the time, she was in her senior year of college about to earn her bachelor’s degree when she realized it wasn’t a career she wanted. wanted. she will continue for the rest of her life. With the encouragement of a few friends, she reached out to recruiters and instantly found herself “at home.”
Hutsler suffered a foot injury in 2017. While trying to get over the pain, she learned on February 1, 2018 that she had an intramuscular arteriovenous vascular tumor. For the next 14 months, doctors tried to save her foot. Because the surgeries failed and her foot had become prone to infection, she had her foot amputated.
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Since then, she has participated in the 2022 Warrior Games and said her goal was to make it to the 2026 Paralympics.
Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.