Retired Lt. Col. Ty Edwards returned from his U.S. Marine Afghanistan tour severely wounded from combat in 2008.
Doctors told him he might never walk or stand again.
As the lights glinted off the ice at the Tampa Bay Lightning's Amalie Arena and the 17,000 fans stood for the national anthem, the U.S. Air Force 6th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard presented the nation's colors.
Defying odds and medical diagnoses, Edwards stood with the Tampa Bay Lightning team to honor the flag and nation he sacrificed so much to protect.
"Please welcome and salute a true American hero," a voice boomed over the loudspeaker, echoing around the thunderous applause as Edwards nodded his appreciation to the fans.
Tonight at the Canadians Lighting Stanley Cup Game LT Colonel Ty Edward's stands for the National Anthem. God Bless the Veterans pic.twitter.com/9i7fv3GCup— Stephen Boyson (@StephenBoyson) July 1, 2021
"His spirit and his humbleness are just unmatched," Mark Van Trees, director of Support the Troops, told Fox News.
Of this display of courage and perseverance, the 20-year veteran said to the news station, "I just want to pay tribute to all those that have lost their lives and made sacrifices that the average American doesn't see."
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