Team Semper Fi member and 2014 Team USA Sled Hockey Gold Medalist Josh Sweeney, who scored the winning goal against Russia, is received the first ever Pat Tillman Award for Service presented by ESPN and the Pat Tillman Foundation at the 2014 ESPY Awards on July 16th at 9pm ET (http://espn.go.com/espys/2014/). Josh was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) and lost both legs in October 2009 while serving with the Marines in Afghanistan.
Josh grew up playing sports, but after his injury wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to again. Josh tells us how it felt to play hockey again as part of his recovery:
“It was the same feeling as when I was in high school or even junior high – just being out there with some buddies and passing the puck around, shooting the puck – that feeling when you step out on the field or the ice, whatever your sport,” he said. “Right then and there I knew it was something that I loved. After being injured you think, ‘What can I do now?’ or ‘What are my limitations?’ Being out there on the ice and seeing what I could do helped make me feel better about myself,” Josh said. “The fact that it was so hard to get to where I am today – the training was just endless and some days it felt like I got on the ice for no reason at all and I wasn’t getting any better – it really helped me emotionally to push through and look at the right things I was doing. The positive things.”
Congratulations, Josh! We are so thrilled for you!