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Wounded Vet Working As Ball Assistant At US Open Is On Mission To Inspire Others

Ryan McIntosh (R) waits for the start of Serena Williams against Andrea Hlavackova during their match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2012. (credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyImages)

Ryan McIntosh (R) waits for the start of Serena Williams against Andrea Hlavackova during their match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2012. (credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyImages)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A wounded warrior who nearly lost his life serving our country is on a new mission.

Army Specialist Ryan McIntosh lost his right leg after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2010.

This year, the 23-year-old is working the sidelines of the US Open in Flushing after qualifying as one of the tournament’s 250 ball assistants.

“Life will always throw you a curve ball here and there,” McIntosh said. “It’s not about how you swing at it, it’s how you recover from it if you strike out.”

With every run, every hard throw, and every step he takes, McIntosh hopes to be an inspiration and an example of how to triumph over adversity.

151197836 Wounded Vet Working As Ball Assistant At US Open Is On Mission To Inspire Others

Ryan McIntosh, an army specialist who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, looks on during the women’s singles fourth round match between Serena Williams of the United States and Andrea Hlavackova of Czech Republic on Day Eight of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2012 in Flushing. (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

“Maybe you can’t do everything you did before, or in the same manner, but there are different sports and different outlets for different sports that you can find,” McIntosh said. “I just want the guys to realize there’s life after injury, and to not ever quit.”

McIntosh’s next job will be training as a sprinter for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.