LUBBOCK, TX -- Saturday's Lone Survivor game will bring together hundreds of Purple Heart recipients and veterans ahead of Veterans Day on Monday. There are lots of activities ahead of the game, and before the game starts, a team of sky divers will make a grand entrance into the stadium.
"I am extremely emotional walking around and seeing these man and women here, I know that each of them have an amazing story," retired Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris said.
Harris was injured in 2007 in Iraq when a roadside bomb went off, leaving him badly burned. "My time of service was great, I loved being a soldier," Harris said. He joined just after 9/11, and was deployed to Iraq twice. "I was injured by a roadside bomb estimated about 700 lbs of explosives. The blast was so significant actually three of the soldiers in our five man crew were killed. I was the truck commander my driver and I were the only two who survived."
Harris earned a Purple Heart for his service, and said it took him about three to three and a half years for his recovery. Harris said he feels fortunate that he wears his scars, saying he knows others still suffer, but it may not be as visible.
"After my accident, I ended up re-enlisting back in the Army, so I was the first double amputee to come back on active duty," Dana Bowman said. Bowman is a retired Sergeant First Class, and lost both of his legs in a training exercise in 1994 with the Golden Knights. You can read more of his story here.
"There is a spot and a place for all of us. My motto is, it's not the disability, it's the ability," Bowman said.
Bowman and the Fastrax Skydiving Team will skydive into the Jones AT&T Stadium Saturday morning before the game starts. On Friday afternoon, Bowman had time to visit the stadium and figure out where they will land.
"Every day's an adventure, and we're proud to be here, in Lubbock, and represent and bring those flags in for those men and women that had paid the ultimate sacrifice," Bowman said.
Saturday's Texas Tech game against Kansas State is the last home game of the season, and hundreds of Purple Heart recipients are expected to attend.