Spectators watch the US Open to see champions play – but take a look at the sidelines this year and you’ll see a different kind of champion. In 2010, Army Specialist Ryan McIntosh lost his leg in a land mine explosion in Afghanistan. Two years later, 23-year-old McIntosh will be a ballperson at the 2012 US Open. Today on Fox and Friends, McIntosh described the harrowing experience of that fateful day.

He recalled that the first thought running through his mind after the explosion was of his unborn son. The memories of his own father, not just as a dad but as a coach and a best friend, made his desire to be that support for his son even stronger. McIntosh serves

has an inspiration for other wounded veterans and he wants to them to know that, "it’s hard in the beginning and there’s no doubting that it’s an obstacle to overcome, but at the same time the human will is very powerful.”

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McIntosh competed with over 600 people to make the cut to become a ballperson. He laughed remembering officials asking him if he could throw a tennis ball. “The first thing that came to my mind is that I’ve thrown hand grenades and it was just like, you know, a hand grenade is quite heavy compared to a tennis ball.”

McIntosh hopes to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Take a moment and watch his inspirational story below: