Patriots alumni honor Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team
In light of Veteran's Day weekend, The Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team put on quite the show in Westwood, Massachusetts.
The team took on some familiar faces at Xaverian Brothers High School Saturday to raise money for heroes.
More than 20 military veterans, along with survivors of the Boston Marathon Bombing, played a game of flag football with alumni players from the New England Patriots.
“I was a Marine Sargent in the infantry. I was blown up in Iraq -- an improvise explosive device. (I) lost my leg below the knee and lost five other Marines,” William “BJ” Ganem said.
But they are fighters and continue to tackle the challenges they're faced with on and off the field.
"In three seconds, I went from being in control of my life to fighting for my life,” Greg Reynolds, another veteran, said. “If I go out there thinking, ‘I'm missing my arm. How am I going to play defense? How am I going to catch the ball? How am I going to do all that stuff?’ If I limit myself in my head, then I'm limited and I'm not able to play, I'm making an excuse for myself, so to speak."
Drew Bledsoe, a quarterback who played for the Patriots from 1993 to 2001, was among the retired NFL stars who took part in the game.
“These guys want to compete, you know? They're not out here looking for sympathy. They want to have a football game,” Bledsoe said. "Watching the catches these guys make with just one arm is impressive makes me ashamed of some of the receivers I had back in the day. These guys catch a rock with one arm. How do you ever drop it with two?”
Honoring veterans -- and the United States -- was the name of the game.
“This is what it's supposed to be about, right? Just celebrating freedom,” Ganem said.
In the end, they’re all on the same team -- and as a country, were led by America's finest.
"First of all, it’s just an honor for me to be here with these heroes, but then to be around these guys and see the outlook they have on life after what they've been through – it’s pretty inspiring,” Bledsoe said.