LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - If you are looking for some family fun Friday or Saturday night check out the Longview Rodeo. There is someone you may want to meet at the rodeo: Captain Ivan Castro. He is a walking miracle who lost his sight three years ago in Iraq.
"Outside of Baghdad I was on a rooftop with my guys and a mortar round landed right next to me, killing two soldiers in my unit and leaving me severely injured," he shared.
He had to learn how to walk again, but within 13 months he was running marathons and is still active in the Army.
"I get my strength from the Lord above," said the soldier.
He is a true inspiration who says that, with the right attitude, you can overcome any adversity.
"[I] used to be out in the woods, jumping out of aircraft shooting but, now, I have another role to play," said Castro. "Now, I support the units that do go out, support the mission."
You can meet Captain Castro at the Longview Rodeo until eight o'clock Friday night.
Also on hand, will be an English cowboy. Vince Bruce is a talented trick roper.
"I kind of started out doing first in Europe, or all over the world, and then brought it here to America and that's a rope spinning act with whip cracking and comedy and a couple of surprises," he said.
To pull off his stunts it took many years of dangerous training.
"Cracking yourself in the face with a whip is pretty risky but standing on the back of two horses when you're riding I've had a couple of tumbles in my day - broken a couple of bones," said Bruce.
As this year's chairman explains, you can't leave out the bull riding.
"There's going to be 20 bull riders each night...there'll be the thing everybody likes and that's our stick horse races and the mutton' bustin', where the kids ride the sheep," said Richard Lazrus. "It's going to be a lot of fun."
Friday's theme is "Tough enough to wear pink" with part of the proceeds going towards breast cancer awareness.