The Washington Spirit announced this morning that US Paralympic Flag Bearer Josh Brunais will act as Honorary Captain for their Friday night semifinal match against the Chicago Red Stars.
The midfielder, a native of Stafford, Virginia, competed for the US Paralympic National Team in 7-a-side soccer, which finished 7th over-all in the tournament, and was elected to carry the flag during the Closing Ceremonies by his fellow Team USA members. Brunais is also a veteran of the US Army, serving overseas with the 75th Ranger regiment, for which he received the Soldier’s Medal for distinguished heroism after saving the lives of fourteen servicemembers whose helicopter had crashed and caught fire. Having served through six overseas tours, Brunais retired from service in 2015 after sustaining wounds from an IED explosion that he believed would affect his ability to keep his men safe.
It was soccer that helped Brunais adjust to life after the Army, after the Rangers, and the Veterans soccer team he joined helped to give him the purpose and the team he missed from his time in the military. And so it is fitting that on Friday night, he will be celebrated on the soccer field, joining the captains in the center circle for the coin toss in front of what is expected to be a sell-out crowd.