LAS CRUCES, N.M. (CBS LAS VEGAS) – An Iraq war veteran and double amputee missed out on a $2,000 prize at a New Mexico State University football game.
The reason, he couldn’t attend the game because he was home taking care of his grandmother, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Matthew Zajac, 26, is a mechanical engineering student at NMSU. He lost both his legs in 2007 when his Humvee was hit by an explosive.
He was caring for 87-year-old Marjorie Seedorf, his only family in the area, after the recent death of his father.
The prize was part of an effort to increase attendance at the school’s football games.
His girlfriend texted him that his name had been called for the grand prize at Saturday’s game. But since he was not at the stadium, the $2,000 was given to someone else.
Zajac tells the Sun-News that while having time to go to a game would be nice, his first priority is taking care of his family.
He’s not upset about missing the prize, he said, adding it’s a good day when he “didn’t get blown up.”
NMSU is considering ways to recognize Zajac and his service to the country, a school official telsl the paper.