In 2006, Simon Brown was on his third tour of Iraq when he attempted to extract a stranded crew after an attack.
Just as he completed the operation, a sniper shot Simon in the face.
The hero soldier spent 17 days in a coma and woke up to discover his face was permanently disfigured by the gunshot. He lost his left eye and was partially blinded in the other, and the cartilage in his nose was gone. Since then, Simon has undergone dozens of reconstructive operations and countless hours of surgery.
He has always been determined to help others through his experiences and regularly gives motivational talks in schools. He does a significant amount of work for charities like Help for Heroes, which works to support members of the British Armed Forces who sustained injuries and illnesses while serving. Simon has put everything he has into rebuilding his life and helping other veterans through motivational speaking.
Then there’s Temperance Pattinson, a little girl who grew up fascinated by war heroes. Temperance, or Tempy, now supports veterans by participating in events like charity mini-triathlons.
In the clip below, Tempy’s lifelong dream comes true: she finally gets to meet a real-life soldier as part of Help for Heroes’ Facing It Together campaign. That real-life soldier is Simon — and he went into the meeting unsure of how the little girl would react to his scars.
It’s easy to see why the face-to-face meeting between this unlikely pair touched the hearts of so many around the world.
Take a look.
This story originally appeared at LittleThings.