MACON, Ga. — Friday night, Jon Stewart and singer Darius Rucker will help kick off the Department of Defense Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida.
Macon native and retired Sergeant First Class David Ware is one of the athletes competing in the Paralympic sports, and the retired veteran has six reasons to win and move on.
Ware is with Team Army at the Warrior Games. Archery is his passion, but over the next week, he will compete in seven events.
"I graduated Central High School and I went off to the Army ten days after I graduated high school," Ware said.
Over 20 years, he did 10 tours in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa. A few years ago, he was badly injured in a motorcycle accident.
"I got hurt in 2013 in April and I was deployed in January of 2014, so I relearned how to walk, dress myself, take care myself," said Ware.
It wasn't easy.
An Army buddy got him to volunteer with his archery skills at Fort Bragg.
"It started out with a chance to give back to vets," said Ware.
He's now on a big stage and still giving back. David wants to win, but he also wants to bring awareness to his tattoos that carry so much meaning.
"There are six names on my wrist. I had a special hat made, too. Heroes of men -- and hopefully other people can get to know them," he said.
Those heroes are no longer here -- some died in combat, some died of natural causes, but all of them had an impact on David, including Dustin Wright.
"He died in an attack in Africa in 2017. Man, that kid was amazing -- another Georgia boy, we talked about Georgia on deployments," Ware remembered.
David is now retired and his deployment days are over, but he's got a platform this weekend, which is a chance to keep other warriors' spirits alive, going for glory with a band of brothers.
The top 16 athletes from each branch of the military will move on to the Invictus Games.
ESPN 2 will provide coverage of the Warrior Games this weekend.