Roberto Cruz Hero Story
While on a tower in Tikrit, Iraq, guarding the post, 23-year-old Roberto Cruz was hit by a sniper. “The bullet entered through my left arm, passed through my lung and finally lodged near my spinal cord between T4-5,” Roberto said. “It felt like a rocket propeller had blown off my legs.”
The bullet destroyed a main artery in his left arm and fractured a rib. After eight months deployment, he was left paralyzed from the waist down—for the rest of his life. He was honorably discharged from the Army.
“Before I attended the Wheelchair Games, I felt very frustrated at times. I was down and didn’t know what the future held,” he said. “After the Games, my entire attitude changed because I learned from other athletes that I’m not alone and I have my whole life to live."
“I feel much happier and more confident, and I credit Paralyzed Veterans of America and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games for my new positive attitude,” Roberto said.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Roberto now resides outside of Tampa, Florida.