Every once in a while, the citizens of our country will catch a glimpse of what it means to be an American war hero. Movies such as American Sniper, Act of Valor, Seal Team Six and Lone Survivor are all tangible examples of the patriotism and passion our soldiers defend our freedom with.
Well, what about the guys who don’t make their way to the big screen? Guys like Nate Boyer.
In 2004, Nate Boyer was dealing with misdirection in his life. In and out of trouble and uninterested in college, Boyer yearned for a sense of meaning. Like a sign from above, Nate came across an article in Time Magazine outlining the horrors of the genocide attacks in the Darfur region of the Sudan.
In effort to make a change in the world, Boyer applied to several outreach organizations looking to help.
With no experience and a lackluster resume, nobody would take a chance on him. However, this didn’t stop Nate. He up and decided to fly to Sudan uninvited and by himself.
Eventually scheming his way onto a United Nations flight to the Tulum refugee camp, Boyer’s life was forever changed.
Surrounded by murder, rape, and thousands of orphaned children, Boyer knew offering a helping hand wasn’t enough. He needed to fight.
Boyer made his way back to the United States and immediately joined the Army to pursue a future with the Special Forces – and that he did. Boyer served four years as a Green Beret fighting for our country and the promise of democracy.
However, in 2008 he decided it was time to revisit the idea of college.
Having never played organized football in his entire life, Boyer decided to walk on to Mack Brown’s University of Texas football team in 2011. A self-proclaimed un-athletic individual, he struggled to find a spot on the field. However, his work ethic, extreme toughness, straight A grades and unprecedented persistence kept him on the team.
Eventually finding a starting job at long-snapper, Boyer was still not done helping his country.
During the off-seasons, he flew to Greece to provide security during national elections, fought for our freedom in Afghanistan and won a Bronze Star in Iraq.
In fact, before returning for his last season of football, Boyer and his 3rd Special Forces Group were ambushed by gun and mortar fire.
Nearly escaping sniper fire and resisting hours of enemy air strikes, Boyer helped usher his squad to safety and escaped unharmed. The very next day he flew home to Austin to begin his final season as a Longhorn.
With his college eligibility now complete, what’s next for this American hero? Well, the NFL of course – because that’s what he wants to do.
While he may be undersized and an improbable prospect, this is Nate Boyer we’re talking about. The guy who flew to Sudan on a whim to help strangers in need. The guy who not-so-casually beat out 103 other qualified men to join the Green Berets and fight for our freedom. The guy who walked onto a powerhouse football team with no previous experience. The guy that makes the impossible possible.
This is Nate Boyer — a true American badass.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports