By Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Combat can take its toll on the body both physically and mentally but the Warrior spirit is not limited by such things. For many wounded warriors, the tolls of combat could have diminished their abilities and reaction times, but the internal fire of the Warrior Spirit remains untouched and vibrant.
“When you are injured, people love to tell you what you can’t do. I don’t believe in that, I don’t believe there is a box for me,” said Master Sgt. Benjamin Horton, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician.
This is Horton’s second time competing in the Warrior Games, representing the Air Force in the Men’s 100-meter Freestyle Open. While Horton is disappointed that he will not be competing in sprints and cycling this year due to knee injuries, he remains honored and excited to be a part of the games.
“Everyone has limitations. We all talk about them, we share ideas on what works and what doesn’t work. You can learn new tricks to get your body to perform better,” Horton said when asked about his experiences with the Warrior Games.
As a highly decorated Airman with many honors and prestige, Horton remains humble when talking about his combat experiences and points out that with his multiple shrapnel and blast injuries, he is nowhere near as bad as many of the other service members participating at the games.
Horton went on to talk about his most memorable Warrior Games moment and spoke about a triple amputee Marine that was also blind, competing in the 50-meter swimming event.
“As they lowered this Marine into the pool, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up,” he said.
“With only one arm he gave his absolute all. Everyone was screaming so loud, nobody cared who had won the race. They were just amazed at the effort and heart he was putting into it,” Horton said with pride. “The most important thing about the games is the inspiration you get from the people around; it’s just amazing,” he added.
“People go to sporting events and it is all about being the absolute best, the fastest or strongest. You go here and you see the more important things, you see compassion, you see heart, you see pure effort,” he said. “That is what makes it amazing.”