“I think it’s awesome in the fact that we’re almost getting a second chance to represent our country,” said sled hockey forward Josh Sweeney, a retired Marine Corps sergeant and bilateral amputee. “Being injured, I never thought I’d be able to do something like this again or be able to represent my country again. Having a second chance just means a lot to me.”
Retired Marine Corps sergeant and alpine skier Jon Lujan, who served as the Team USA flag bearer during the opening ceremony, said veterans are well suited to the Paralympics. Lujan has permanent nerve damage and paralysis in his lower legs as a result of a mission in Iraq.
“I think the advantages we have is that we already have the drive and determination and people don’t need to tell us where to be, what to do and how to do it,” said Lujan.