By Keith Russell

(CBSDFW.COM) – John Fay admits he had never heard of rowing two years ago when he took up the sport. Serving in the Army and building bridges, he needed a bridge to his future.

Admittedly living recklessly, smoking and drinking, John fell out of a barracks window, suffered a spinal cord injury, and no longer had the use of his legs. He credits his wife, whom he married overseas, with getting him back on track.

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Now he can celebrate his amazing family, which includes grandchildren.

David Graham, suffered an injury on an aircraft carrier in the Navy, when he lost the use of his legs. Going through a divorce, left him in his words “mad at the world.”

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It was his desire to set a positive example for his daughters which led him to the sport of rowing.

David and John are now part of the Dallas United Crew adaptive rowing program. Both say it keeps their competitive juices flowing and allows them a sense of accomplishment in a life where they could’ve given up.

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They would like to use their stories as an example to others facing disabilities or hardships in life, that the key is to keep pushing forward.