Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Warrior Games showcase resilient spirit

Retired Spc. Luis Puertas prepares for the Warrior Games by running the flying 30 during track practice May 7, at Carson Middle School on Fort Carson. Puertas will be competing in swimming and track events.

Story and photos by Sgt. William Smith

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

Two hundred wounded, ill and injured servicemembers and veterans converged on Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy for their final tune-up prior to competing in the 2013 Warrior Games, held Saturday-Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the Academy.

Currently serving and retired wounded warriors — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines — worked to perfect their craft in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, swimming, archery, shooting and track and field, the week leading up to the games.

“The training the week before the games helps us begin to visualize what we need to do to win,” said Capt. Lacey Hamilton, Warrior Transition Battalion, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Md. “Right now we’re focusing on mechanics and remembering what we need to do to be successful. Each member of Team Army deserves to be here, because they are the best.”

“This is the year that Army is going to win it all,” said Sgt. Chad McDuffee, veteran. “I have felt that way since the first (training) camp I went to. Just getting to know the other athletes; how hard we have worked. How everything has come together; I don’t think there is a way that we won’t win the (Chairman’s) Cup this year.”

The Warrior Games showcases the resilient spirit of today’s wounded, ill or injured servicemembers. After overcoming significant physical and behavioral injuries, these men and women demonstrate the power of ability over disability and the spirit of competition, according to the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command website.

During the games, 50 competitors from each of the U.S. military branches and the United Kingdom face one another, testing both individual and team skills in events.

The members of the team would like people to become more aware of the Warrior Games.

“Spread the story, so that if people know somebody that is wounded, ill or injured; these (Warrior Games) are out there if you are military,” said Sgt. Ryan McIntosh, WTB, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “(It) can get (them) back to being active and physical with their lifestyle, so they can (learn) that they can overcome obstacles they didn’t know they could.”

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