Josh Brunais, a U.S. Army veteran and defender for the U.S. 7-a-side soccer team, has been named the U.S. flag bearer for the Rio Paralympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday.
“The flag means a great deal to me,” Brunais said in a press release. “I have the utmost respect for what our flag means. I’ve represented this flag in one capacity and now to do so in another for a country that has done so much for me, this just feels incredible. I am so honored to have been chosen.”
Retired Staff Sgt. Brunais received the Soldier’s Medal after saving the lives of 14 men by pulling them out of a fire after a helicopter crash in February 2007. Eight people died when the helicopter lost power at 500 feet and fell out of the sky.
He broke the two highest bones in his neck and was supposed to be paralyzed. He retired in 2015 due to wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device blast.
The U.S. men’s 7-a-side team went 0-1-2 in group play and finished seventh overall in Rio.
NBCSN and the NBC Sports app will air Closing Ceremony coverage Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET.Follow @nzaccardi