By David Meade
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Master Sgt. Michael Christiansen, 21st Space Wing protocol office superintendent will compete for the second time in the Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 1 — 9, 2018.
Christiansen was injured during a deployment to Kirkuk, Iraq in 2004 when an ammunition depot explosion sent him into the side of a Humvee, permanently damaging his lower spine.
“There were so many explosions and shrapnel flying past me and my team,” Christiansen said. “As team lead I knew we had to get out of there so I stood up to get in the Humvee and drive us out of the area. That’s when the largest explosion of the night went off and sent me flying.”
Christiansen competed in the DoD Warrior Games for the first time last year. His events were recurve-bow archery, rifle and pistol shooting.
“I was hesitant to join the Warrior Games at first because I wasn’t like a lot of the other disabled veterans,” said Christiansen. “These guys are my heroes and I felt I wasn’t worthy to compete with them.”
The DoD Warrior Games were established in 2010 and consist of approximately 300 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Athletes represent the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and Special Operations Command. Athletes from the United Kingdom Armed Forces, Australian Defense Force and Canadian Armed Forces also compete.
“I’m glad I listened to my coach and decided to compete last year,” Christiansen said. “The friendships I’ve made have inspired me and I can’t wait to compete again this year.”
This year Christiansen will compete in the same events as well as the discus, shotput, recumbent cycling, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
For more information on the DoD Warrior Games visit www.dodwarriorgames.com