Wounded warriors compete with student athletes
January 8, 2010
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Jan. 8, 2010) -- The best high school athletes in the nation took to the field for pre-game competitions Jan. 6 side-by-side with some VIP sponsors -- wounded Army warriors.
Some of the Soldiers in wheel chairs and others with prosthetic legs partnered with students on the field for a football skills competition inside the Alamodome.
The U.S. Army sponsors the annual <a href="http://www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com/">All-American Bowl</a>, putting top high school football players in a classic East-West competition.
During the pre-game skills competitions, the wounded warriors took to the field with the student athletes in a spirited volley.
"I think it inspired them because you never know what's going to happen in life," said Spc. Carlos Hernandez.
Hernandez lost a leg below the knee to an RPG attack in Afghanistan this past October. "You can go from one day being able to do what ever you want, and the next day you're lying in bed ... You always want to do your best," Hernandez said.
Hernandez received a prosthetic leg days before Christmas last month. He is assigned to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio during his recovery. He is still deciding on his future, and may stay in the Army.
"I'm impressed by the way the nurses and doctors have taken care of me," he said. "They really care about what they do."
Student athletes swarmed the wounded warriors on the sidelines and bombarded them with questions and praise.
"I feel like they understood the sacrifice," Hernandez said. "I hope they stay out of trouble and do well."
Doing well is on the minds of all the high school athletes as the premier competition approaches. The game is scheduled for noon Saturday.