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He's just a walk-on. Number 39 in your program, zero in your heart. Means nothing to you. Just another sadly spotless jersey on the sideline.
So how is it that Josh Amstutz is the toughest, bravest and most inspirational member of Texas A&M's football team?
Well, look at his right leg. There are two scars left by a bullet that passed through it almost two years ago, a gift from an Iraqi sniper. How he runs on it as well as he does is anybody's guess.
Look at his jaw. It was stern and square enough for the Marine honor guard that flanked President Clinton during ceremonial events at the White House and led George W. Bush down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day.
Look at his eyes. They're practically Aggie maroon-and-white. What other 23-year-old Purple Heart winner would volunteer as scout-team meat five days a week just so he can stand on the sidelines on Saturdays in the fall yelping, " Gig 'em Aggies"?
"I can't believe I'm on the team," says Amstutz, an A&M sophomore with freshman eligibility. "One practice it was pretty hot and everybody was complaining. But I thought to myself, Hey, this isn't bad. It beats being in 120 degrees in Iraq in a hazardous chemical protective suit. And at least nobody's shooting at me."
You want to bitch about the training table? There were days when all he had to eat was one dried meal. "The scary part," he says, "was we got so hungry, we started liking it." In fact, when he was recuperating in the hospital after he got shot, a doctor saw him take a cookie off his lunch tray and hide it under his pillow.
"What are you doing?" the doctor asked.
"Saving food for later, sir," Amstutz admitted.
"Son," said the doctor, "you don't have to do that anymore."