by Keith Russell | CBS 11

(CBSDFW.COM) – At this year’s Paralympic Games, August 24 through September 5 in Tokyo, no one will be more proud to represent the United States and the state of Texas than Ray Hennigar.

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Hennigar says “it means everything. I’ve been trying to make it to that top level for a while. To get that invite to Tokyo is amazing”.

Amazing when you consider Hennigar’s back story.

Hennigar explains “I was a Marine. I stepped on an IED back in 2007”.

When asked to describe the moments after he knew his life was changed, he says, “I kept pushing harder and harder to prove not just to myself but to everyone else that….even though I lost so much….there so much more to gain”.

While Hennigar is not a native Texan, his journey brought him to UTA a few years ago to be part of the Movin’ Mavs basketball program.

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Gaining confidence to reach heights he never imagined.

Now, the Arlington resident hopes to lead the U.S. Wheelchair Rugby team to a gold medal.

Hennigar admits “I got a lot of butterflies. Being that it’s my first time going to the big show. I am chomping at the bit”.

Thanks to the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance and lifetime support to those wounded in combat, Hennigar is now chomping at the bit to be an example for others in similar situations.

He implores people to “just find something you enjoy doing. You don’t have to be the best at it. As long as it gets you out of your home…. and involved with others….and in the community…. It could be life changing.”

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Ray Hennigar is living proof.