After losing three limbs fighting for his country, Matthew Weston might have expected to be treated with respect by the British public.
But the 20
-year-old - who is one of the most seriously injured soldiers to survive since Britain began fighting in Afghanistan in 2001 - has instead had to endure cruel taunts in the street
Sapper Weston, of 33 Engineer Regiment, was first taunted by a callous teenager as he was being pushed in a wheelchair by his mother and girlfriend Bryony Bolland on an outing from hospital.
The yob shouted: 'Haven't you forgotten something? Oh yeah, your legs.'
Weeks later, as he was waiting to be served in a fish and chip shop, another lout sneered: 'If you didn't want to be blown up don't go to war.'
The incidents both happened in Birmingham, where he was being treated at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Selly Oak Hospital.
His mother Rena Weston, 40, an operating theatre nurse, said: 'Injured soldiers are a common sight round there. To taunt anyone in a wheelchair is a terrible thing to do, but to do it to a soldier is disgusting.
'I didn't know what to do when they shouted the legs insult. I choked back the tears before pushing Matthew away and could hear them laughing.
'I was mortified. The most heartbreaking thing was when Matthew turned to me and said, "I guess I'd better get used to it".
Sapper Weston, who joined the Army at 17, was halfway through his first tour of duty in Afghanistan when he lost both legs and his right arm to a Taliban bomb during a foot patrol.
As part of Operation Panther's Claw - the battle to drive the Taliban from a key area in Helmand province - he was using a metal detector to clear mines ahead of an infantry patrol in the Sangin region on June 29.
He was blown into the air as he stepped on a mine that had been placed behind a metal door, where it would not be discovered by his metal detector.
He suffered horrific injuries and was flown back to Britain where surgeons told his family to fear the worst.
But he survived and was nearing the end of 11 weeks of treatment at Selly Oak when he was insulted in the street.
But Sapper Weston, who will next week be fitted with prosthetic legs, refuses to be cowed by his tormentors.
He said: 'I didn't expect to get abuse like that. I've encountered worse things in my life, though, and I'm not going to let it get in the way of my rehab or my future.'