BRADENTON, Fla. - They were young men and women at the peak of their abilities, gravely injured as they fought for their country. The Wounded Warriors project is dedicated to helping these men and women rebuild their lives, and this week some of them are going through a special training program at IMG -- a facility known for training champions.
As the 27 wounded warriors go through an intensive training program at IMG this week, Rory Coleman remembers the day he was wounded. "I was actually wounded September 12th, 2011 by an enemy grenade. It was a real short ambush attack. One of the insurgents came out and he actually dropped the grenade next to him, knowing he ws going to go out.”
Rory was severely injured. "My injuries were shrapnel wounds, literally from head to toe."
Another of the Wounded Warriors at IMG this week is Rashen Harris. "I have a mild traumatic brain injury from explosions, bouncing my head off the gun turrets. I was a gunner for my squad.”
Both men were good athletes before their injuries, and they hope this program will help them recover some of what they've lost. And working together helps. "When you leave the military, one of the biggest things is brotherhood; you always have someone behind you and beside you that you know you can always count on. And when that’s gone, it makes life tough," says Harris.
And he says now they have it again, working with the same trainers. Following the same program IMG uses to develop world champions gives them hope. "I plan on being a collegiate athlete in the next year or two. So I hope to get the best training technique, nutrition, goal setting techniques, anything that can help me in my quest to accomplish my goal," says Coleman.
The program they're in is called Ignite 360. "It's not all about what you do in the gym, or what you do on the field; it's also about how you prepare your mind, get your mind right; your spirit, how you feel about yourself, about others. All those are principles we use to train professional athletes; the same principles we're going to use to get these folks trained," says Brian Griffin, VP of performance at IMG.
The wounded warriors say bring it on. “It's going to be intense, but a lot of us have been through tougher things in life. And no matter how hard they make it, we're all going to succeed," says Harris.