A 21-year-old soldier could be the salvation of his 62-year-old Vietnam veteran grandfather, who needs a liver transplant.

Rick Homer was diagnosed about three years ago with hemachromatosis, a condition where the body absorbs an excess of iron, which poisons certain organs such as the liver. Rather than allow his grandfather to wait for a donor, Ricky Glenn, an Army specialist on active duty in Afghanistan, took action. He asked his commanding officer for permission to return home to see if he’s a match for his grandfather.

"I'm the firstborn grandson and I carry my grandfather's name," Glenn told KLTV. "So the loss and regret of me knowing I could have done something and didn't do it would have outweighed more than doing it now."

On average, 18 people die each day waiting for an organ donation, and over 121,000 people are currently waiting for an organ in the U.S., according to organdonor.gov. Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the waiting list. If Glenn is a match for his grandfather, he will donate 60 percent of his liver.

"He's my hero. People don't undertand what hero is until something like this happens," Homer said in the video.

See their story below:

ABC US News | ABC Business News