OFF THE BATTLEFIELD.
ON A MISSION.
Serving His Country.
In 2007, while serving his sixth year in the U.S. Army, Rico Roman was leading his squad back to their base in Iraq when his Humvee struck an IED. His left leg was badly wounded in the blast and he was asked by doctors if he wanted to try and save it. Of course, Rico said yes. “Anybody in their right mind would,” he admits. But a year later, after multiple surgeries, Rico realized he would never get full mobility back making everyday activities incredibly challenging — most importantly, playing with his kids. That’s when he made the difficult decision to have the leg amputated.
An Unexpected Opportunity.
Shortly after his surgery, Rico participated in a 150-mile hand cycle ride sponsored by Operation Comfort. Another member of the group noticed his athletic talents and invited him to give sled hockey a try. Rico wasn’t sure what to expect, having never been interested in hockey, but he decided to go anyway. To his surprise, he quickly fell in love with the sport, describing it simply as “football on ice.” For him, it was a natural fit as he found the same camaraderie with his teammates as he had in the Army.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.
Since Rico was wounded, he’s never once asked himself why me? And he wouldn’t change the fact that he served his country, knowing “these other opportunities happened because of this,” just one of the many examples of his incredible strength. When he wants something bad enough “he can get it,” says Rico’s wife, which could mean bringing home a gold medal as Team USA works to defend their title at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. Rico can’t wait to share the experience with his family.