Gallery: Veterans strive for Sochi 2014
In 2000, 17-year-old Omar Bermejo joined the Marine Corps. "The Marines were my way of life until a motorcycle accident took what I thought was going to be the rest of my life in just a couple of seconds," he wrote in his blog. Just four months after his right arm was amputated as a result of the accident, he rediscovered sport. "It was time to start dreaming again. Dreaming of becoming a Paralympic cross-country skiing athlete." He is a member of the 2013-14 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing Development Team.
At the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, the United States was represented by 50 athletes, including five military athletes: alpine skier Heath Calhoun, ret., U.S. Army; Nordic skier Sean Halsted, ret., U.S. Air Force; wheelchair curler Patrick McDonald, ret. U.S. Army; Andy Soule, ret., U.S. Army; and alpine skier Chris Devlin-Young, ret., U.S. Coast Guard. All five are hopefuls for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, March 7-16.
As the country celebrates those who have served on Veterans Day, meet the 19 active duty service members and veterans who hope to serve their country as Paralympic athletes in Sochi, Russia.