Wheelchair Games - Web Story Only

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jonathan Harris will never forget a warm, clear day last March. The Army specialist and his team had just cleared a roadside bomb, and the group parked its Stryker military transport vehicle in an Iraqi neighborhood.

Then an improvised explosive device went off, and the 23-year-old Harris felt his body bounce violently off netting across the top of the truck. His first concern was to help his buddies ... but when he looked at his own right knee, he saw a gush of blood.

The soldier from York, Pennsylvania, wound up having his right foot and lower leg amputated.

Three months later, his broken left ankle is in a soft cast and he admits he's despondent at times about losing a limb.

But wheelchair competition is changing that. He's one of nearly 600 paralyzed vets in Milwaukee for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Opening ceremonies were last night for the five-day event. The games include weightlifiting, basketball and rugby, among other sports.

Harris says training for them has been mentally therapeutic, showing him things he's still able to do. He's competing in billiards, a wheelchair race and wheelchair bowling.


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