Tim Horton is in Indianapolis warming up for the big game. No, it's not the big game, but to Horton, it's a milestone on his road to recovery. Super Bowl Sunday will mark seven years since Horton's life changed forever on a tour of duty in Iraq.
"I lost my leg below the knee, I broke my wrist, this elbow, these two fingers, this elbow, shrapnel to my face." said Horton
A lifelong athlete, Horton's rehab united him with more than a dozen men battling back after similar devastating injuries. They're wounded warriors, and this week they took on former NFL players in an exhibition football game. But don't be fooled by these impressive skills on the gridiron. These U.S. military veterans and active-duty soldiers are members of the "Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team."
Every player lost a limb serving post 9-11. Team founder and head coach David Van Sleet has a vision to give these determined young men an outlet to play competitive sports again.
"These guys never thought they were going to live, nevertheless walk. They knew they would never play a sport again. That they came back and went through extensive rehab and are back to a lifestyle no one ever thought they would get to, even themselves" said Van Sleet.
The program operates solely on donations and grants.
"The most satisfaction is how the community, the country has reached out to these guys."
"It just kind of puts it all in check. Because there's a lot of them around the world and I think it's great for this crowd to be here and see them doing this and root them on" said Jamie Asher, former NFL Receiving Tight End.
For these men, time together is part of the journey as they continue to adjust to their lives as amputees.
"It's like being in the military again. The bonds in the military it's unlike anything else" said Horton.
But ask Horton or any guy on this team and they'll tell you, they still like to win.
Proving with every pass, that they're healing, they're learning, and they never lost their love for the game.