2014 U.S. Army Warrior Trials Athlete Information

Select the first letter of the athlete's last name:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M
N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

 

A

Quintarious Almon
SPC Almon Quintarious

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  Reserve

Hometown:

  Anniston, Alabama


Favorite Sports:

  Track, sitting volleyball

Injury:

  Moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Even though I was injured, I have another chance at sports. It has also made me get more active in life, as well as created a job opportunity for me. When I’m not participating, I get to help other veterans with my current job in adaptive sports.”

John Arbino
MAJ John Arbino

Rank / Branch:

 Retired Major / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Cincinnati, Ohio


WTU:

  Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit


Favorite Sports:

 Shooting, wheelchair racing, air rifle shooting

Injury:

  Multiple sclerosis

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “It gives me a distraction from life, something to do outside of the daily grind of working.”

Charles Armstead
SFC Charles Armstead

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Needville, Texas


WTU:

  Fort Hood, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Wheelchair basketball, shot put, discus, shooting

Injury:

  Right hemipelvectomy (right leg amputation), spinal cord injury

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I just like to compete really. It’s always been my nature, my competitive nature. I really enjoy just meeting everybody, the camaraderie…meeting new people who are going through some of the same difficulties.”

“I guess it just builds confidence and shows that you can still go out there and accomplish something; you’re showing them that you can still live and do things.”

“It actually helps you recover more than people think it might; if your body is fit and in shape, it actually helps you recover.”

Allan L. Armstrong
SSG Allan Armstrong

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Austin, Texas


WTU:

  Bethesda, Maryland


Favorite Sports:

  Skiing

Injury:

  Above the right knee amputee

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports help me to live with my condition that I have now.” “Four weeks after getting my walking socket, I completed a Bataan Death March in White Sands, New Mexico with about 20 people from the Warrior Transition Battalion. I plan to continue to run marathons and my wife is training to join me.”

Jorge Avalos
SFC Jorge Avalos

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Bell Gardens, California


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Warrior Transition Battalion, San Antonio, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, shooting and swimming

Injury:

  Lost a kidney on left side, lower left limb salvage, L3 replacement, spinal fusion, extensive nerve damage to lower left limb

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  Sgt. 1st Class Avalos participates in sports because it lets him "push himself to the max." It also has allowed him to recover. "I broke my back and was initially paralyzed. Cycling has given me strength and pushed me forward."

Return to top of page

B


Kadina Baldwin
SGT Kadina Baldwin

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Columbus, Georgia


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) Bravo Company Fort Campbell, Kentucky


Favorite Sports:

  Basketball

Injury:

  Chronic lower back pain

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  "I started wheelchair basketball (WCB) in October at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) as part of adaptive reconditioning program. I like WCB because I can’t play regular basketball anymore so it’s my substitute. I played volleyball in high school; it’s the same sport but quite a few adjustments and it’s still fun and different."

"Swimming is something new to me, competing is a different story. I started at the WTU since it was something that my doctor recommended to help with my back and makes therapy fun."

Frank Barroqueiro
CPT Frank Barroquiero

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Captain / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Brick, New Jersey


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Unit, Orlando, Florida


Favorite Sports:

  Compound archery, pistol and rifle shooting

Injury:

  Shot in the arm

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  Barroquiero’s arm was supposed to be amputated three times. His doctor said he would never shoot a bow again. “I enjoy the mental aspect of archery, the focus, and the very similar shot pattern to shooting the service weapon in the army. It helps prevent losing my range of motion because I keep using my arm.”

Jason Blair
SPC Jason Blair

Rank / Branch:

 Specialist / Army

Status:

  Active

Hometown:

  Texas


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) Alpha Company, Fort Belvoir, Virginia


Favorite Sports:

  Recumbent racing, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, air rifle and air pistol.

Injury:

  N/A

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  I’ve been a part of adaptive reconditioning at Fort Belvoir for about a year. I’ve competed in the sitting volleyball game at the Pentagon and the Virginia wheelchair basketball tournament regional competition.

Brian Boone
SSG Brian Boone

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  San Antonio, Texas


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Basketball, sitting volleyball, swimming and shooting

Injury:

  Below knee amputation and brachial plexopathy (nerve damage in shoulder)

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “It’s nice to just get out of yourself in the competition of sports; it’s challenging, and I just enjoy the competition.”

Jessica Brennan
SGT Jessica Brennan

Rank / Branch:

 Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Colorado Springs, Colorado


WTU:

  Fort Gordon, Georgia


Favorite / Prior Sports:

  “I like to play any sport that I can get involved with.”

Injury:

  Lower spine injury

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I don’t know if I would have made the physical progress I have without the Adaptive Reconditioning Program.” “I am a very competitive person and the adaptive reconditioning program helped me to heal and get back to competing.”

Return to top of page

D


Carlton Duncan
SSG Carlton Duncan

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Rancho, California


WTU:

  Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB)


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, track

Injury:

  Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a shoulder injury and a fractured back and neck

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Overall, participating in competitive sports has helped in my recovery and over all well-being. I am also less dependent on medication.”

Return to top of page

E


Kelly J Elmlinger
1LT Kelly Elmlinger

Rank / Branch:

  First Lieutenant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Attica, Ohio


WTU:

  Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Warrior Transition Battalion

Favorite Sports:

  Running, cycling, swimming, crossfit

Injury:

  Synovial sarcoma in my left lower leg with permanent foot drop, nerve damage from tumor resection, left forearm nerve impairment

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  "I have competed in athletics from an early age. It has always been a significant part of my life. Not only do I participate for health benefits, but since my deployments, I have used sports as a way to relieve stress. I use longer distance sports to find inner peace, a time to pray, talk and sort through the daily struggles of life and now my illness."

"My father taught me what it’s like to have a hard work ethic and be a vital team member. I apply those to my career and personal sport choices. It’s a way to challenge myself in a productive manner and test my mental strength. For me, the Warrior Trials and Warrior Games are equally about representing all the men and women who sacrificed their life to fight for our country as it is the competition. Although it will be me competing, there are many others who played an integral role in restoring my health, allowing me to get to this point. Without a doubt, I represent and thank those individuals who aided me."

John Elmore
SSG John Elmore

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  San Antonio, Texas


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion - Fort Bragg, North Carolina


Favorite Sports:

  Archery, shooting, motorcycling

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I am involved in archery and shooting. I find both sports to be physically demanding, and they also help me stay focused, both mentally and physically.”

Return to top of page

G


Chanda Lee Gaeth
SSG Chanda Gaeth

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  La Crosse, Wisconsin


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Swimming, kayak

Injury:

  Sub-acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a cognitive disorder

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “It all started with water therapy. I learned how to swim because of it; I never knew how to swim before. My mentor, Sgt. Galloway, even taught me how to do the backstroke. His wife set up a training event for Fort Sam Houston, Texas Soldiers in Austin in 2012 where we were able to learn swimming tips from a couple of Olympic swimmers. I've been to last three Warrior Games and have gold medaled in all of my past events.”

Rhoden Galloway
MSG Rhoden Galloway

Rank / Branch:

  Master Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Irving, Texas


WTU:

  Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB)


Favorite Sports:

  Swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball, snowboarding, auto racing

Injury:

  Injuries to head, neck, shoulders, elbows, hands, lumbar, sciatica, knees, and ankles

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I swam in high school and want to swim for the Army.” “Despite my injuries and subsequent bone structure changes, I am still training, staying fit and mentally healthy and hope to inspire others through competition.”

Samantha Goldenstein
SFC Samantha Goldenstein

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Reserve

Hometown:

  Kansas City, Missouri


WTU:

  Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, swimming, track

Injury:

  Hip injuries (Bilateral Femoral Acetabular Impingements with labral tears.)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Learning adaptive sports, and learning different things, has really helped me with my rehabilitation and how I feel about getting out there.”

“Staying active in sports helps me to forget my physical limitations. My limitations have forced me to find new activities to participate in and because of this I have found many more sports that I enjoy.”

Return to top of page

H


David J. Hall
SFC David Hall

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Lancaster, South Carolina


WTU:

  Walter Reed Warrior Transition Unit, Bravo Company, 1st Platoon, Bethesda Maryland


Favorite Sports:

  Basketball, football

Injury:

  Degenerative disc disease in lower spine, traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Competition is something that I believed I wouldn't be able to do any longer after being diagnosed with my injuries. I feel friendly competition is motivation for me to attempt to stay in somewhat decent shape; which will be great since I have young kids. It is important that I remain active. I also believe sports and competition is good for me to show my kids. Show that that I (we) can still remain active and competitive through anything; they can see me doing something positive verses just sitting around the house feeling sorry for myself.”

Charles J. Hansrote
MAJ Charles Hansrote

Rank / Branch:

  Major / Army

Status:

  Reserve and Veteran

Hometown:

  Lynchburg, Virginia


WTU:

  Fort Stewart, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Biking, baseball, volleyball

Injury:

  Lower back and neck injuries, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), memory problems, depression

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I can’t run anymore so I was glad to find the recumbent bike because I have no pressure on my hips and back.” “Getting into some kind of athletic program helps me mentally, physically and emotionally.”

David Harrell
SPC David Harrell

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Ontario, New York


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB), Fort Belvoir, Virginia


Favorite Sports:

  Archery, football and martial arts.

Injury:

  Suffered from a stroke, herniated disc in my lower back.

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  Participating in adaptive sports and reconditioning programs have helped improve my concentration and mental work. I have to go through every step every time.

Carlita Maria Harter
SGT Carlita Maria Harter

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Palm Beach Gardens, Florida


WTU:

  Walter Reed WTB


Favorite Sports:

  Tennis, softball

Injury:

  Dislocated left shoulder and left knee, other combined medical issues

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “I have been an athlete my whole life. Sports keep me motivated and stay off depression.”

Vester (Max) Maxwell Hasson, IV
SSG Vester Hasson IV

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  National Guard

Hometown:

  Winnie, Texas


WTU:

  Fort Carson, Colorado


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling

Injury:

  Bi-lateral anterior cruciate ligament replacement, vertebrae fusion and disc degeneration.

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  Sports help calm me down, they are my release.

Scotty A. Hasting
SGT Scotty Hasting

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Hebron, Kentucky


WTU:

  Fort Riley, Kansas


Favorite Sports:

  Wheelchair basketball

Injury:

  Ten gunshot wounds to right shoulder, left hip and leg; nerve damage in right arm and hand

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports helped me train myself to switch from right to left handed dominant.”

Daniel Hendrix
MSG Daniel Hendrix

Rank / Branch:

  Master Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Akron, Ohio


WTU:

  Fort Carson, Colorado


Favorite Sports:

  Football, baseball and basketball

Injury:

  Injured in a skydiving accident

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “Twenty-one years in the Army has made me very competitive. Through the Adaptive Reconditioning Program, I have the ability to still compete even though I am injured.”

Kimberly A. Hendrix
CW2 Kimberly Hendrix

Rank / Branch:

  Chief Warrant Officer 2 / Army

Status:

  Reserve

Hometown:

 


WTU:

  Fort Bliss Warrior Transition Battalion, B Company


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling

Injury:

  Depressive disorder

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  "Adaptive reconditioning has done more for me than any medication or therapists. When I'm on the bike, I feel like 'me.' I also want to use what I have learned to help others."

Kevin Holland
SFC Kevin Holland

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Dallas, Texas


WTU:

  Fort Benning, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Recumbent cycling and swimming

Injury:

  Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a spinal cord injury

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Competing and playing sports is meaningful to me because it is something that I’m able to do. Before my injuries, I was very competitive in marathons and triathlons, and I was very fit. After my injuries, I am still in the fight and can use adaptive equipment and do these events. Afghanistan didn’t beat me. I still matter.”

“I had really good friends who did not come home, so this is a way to honor them. Representing Fort Benning, continuing to live an active lifestyle and pushing myself to achieve success and accomplish the mission, reminds me of being a soldier.”

Sean Hook
SGT Sean Hook

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran (Guard)

Hometown:

  Summerville, South Carolina


WTU:

  West Point, New York


Favorite Sports:

  Football, baseball and hunting

Injury:

  Left shoulder injury and traumatic brain injury

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “Sports keeps me goal-oriented and focus; a new mission.”

Return to top of page

J


Jermeka Johnson
SFC Jermeka Johnson

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  National Guard

Hometown:

  Carthage, Mississippi


WTU:

  Fort Benning, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball

Injury:

  Keratoconus eye disease and Crohn’s disease.

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “The cycling actually helps me to be at peace. It’s very relaxing.”

Sean Johnson
SSG Sean Johnson

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Reserve

Hometown:

  Aberdeen, South Dakota


WTU:

  Fort Riley, Kansas


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling

Injury:

  Traumatic brain injury (TBI), vision loss

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports and competition mean a lot. It gives me some direction and some purpose-- a goal to achieve-- and it keeps me in shape. It keeps me out of mischief,” said SSgt. Johnson. “It is critical to my recovery and health. It improves my outlook on life and future and gives me a way to give back to the Army and military.”

Return to top of page

K


Michael Kacer
SSG Michael Kacer

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Throop, Pennsylvania


WTU:

  Walter Reed Army Medical Center(from 2008 - 2010)


Favorite Sports:

  Track and swimming

Injury:

  Left above - elbow amputation, 3 broken ribs, 2 collapsed lungs, 6 inch skull fracture in back of head and a severed intestine

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “Sports in general help me find my new normal, and along the path taught me how to find the good in every day.”

Ollie Knowland
SSG Ollie Knowland

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  San Antonio, Texas


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion-Europe (WTB-E), Kaiserslautern, Germany


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I participate in cycling, track and field, volleyball and basketball. I like the teamwork.”

Katie Kuiper
SFC Katie Kuiper

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Miami, Florida


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Running, cycling and swimming

Injury:

  Gunshot wound (GSW) to face

 


Christopher Kurtz
SGT Christopher Kurtz

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Clarksville, Tennessee


WTU:

  B Company, Walter Reed Warrior Transition Battalion, Bethesda, Maryland


Favorite Sports:

  Shooting, archery, wheelchair basketball

Injury:

  Double above the knee amputee and an amputated left pinky and ring fingers

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “The significance of participating in sports is teamwork, goal setting and camaraderie; it gives me something to do and helps me with my reconditioning and adaptation. When I do something I enjoy, it makes me feel better.”

Return to top of page

L


Betty Lehman
SFC Betty Lehman

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant First Class / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Anthem, Arizona


WTU:

  Fort Lewis, Washington


Favorite Sports:

  Cross country, track, cycling and football

Injury:

  Traumatic brain injury (TBI), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and a right foot crush injury

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “I always enjoyed competitions. Cycling and wheelchair basketball is a way for me to enjoy the athletic competition amongst those who are in the same situation as myself.”

Amanda Lyle
SPC Amanda Lyle

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Paducah, Kentucky


WTU:

  Fort Campbell, Kentucky


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, sitting volleyball, shot put, discus, air rifle shooting

Injury:

  Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), post traumatic seizure, broken right scapula and two broken vertebrae

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I’m not here to compete; I’m here to participate. For me this is a once in a lifetime chance. To be chosen by the military to come and being able to cycle and do the things I do, like shoot my rifle again, means the world to me. I don’t have to be limited. I don’t have to have boundaries. I can do whatever I want in an adaptive manner.”

Return to top of page

M


Billy C. Meeks
SSG Billy Meeks

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Weatherford, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Archery

Injury:

  Torn medial collateral ligament (MCL), torn labrum and numerous other injuries

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports allow me to be competitive and allow me to be around like minded people.”

Adam Miller II
SSG Adam Miller II

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active duty

Hometown:

  Kokomo, Indiana


WTU:

  Alpha Company, Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Knox, Kentucky


Favorite Sports:

  Wrestling, bowling, cycling, weight lifting

Injury:

  Fractured his left hip, resulting in two plates and 12 screws and two discs bulge (L4 and L5)

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “Sports have been a part of my life since I can remember. Sports and exercise are my outlet to relieve stress and more importantly help my road to recovery. My dream is to go all the way to the Olympics and competing in Warrior Games brings me closer to that goal. It is inspiring to be surrounded by fellow Soldiers who compete with extreme injuries. I find myself constantly being reminded of how lucky I am to be where I am at today with my own personal health.”

Return to top of page

N


Kawaiola Nahale
SGT Kawaiola Nahale

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Reserves (Active Orders)

Hometown:

  Honolulu, Hawaii


WTU:

  Schofield Barracks WTU, Hawaii


Favorite Sports:

  Running, cycling and swimming.

Injury:

  N/A

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports can be positive and active, as opposed to being depressed all of the time.”

Return to top of page

O


Ray O'Donnell
MAJ Ray O'Donnell

Branch and Rank:

  Major / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Mililani, Hawaii


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB), Hawaii


Favorite Sports:

  Swimming

Injury:

  Poly trauma

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I believe sports and competition are so important in the recovery process and in the ‘rehab for life’ philosophy.”

Anne Oravec
SGT Anne Oravec

Branch and Rank:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Phoenix, Arizona


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling, swimming and running

Injury:

  Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I participate in sports because it helps my recovery and helps me get out of the house and have goals.”

Return to top of page

P


Eric Pardo
SSG Eric Pardo

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Bronx, New York


WTU:

  San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas (SAMC)


Favorite Sports:

  Archery, cycling and swimming

Injury:

  Two bulging discs, lower lumbar listhesis, left meniscus tear (PCL), right ankle function (nerve damage) and sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “The significance of sports gives me the drive and senses of team that help me connect with like-minded people.”

“I like seeing the camaraderie of athletes whenever we get into a group like this [Warrior Trials]. It doesn’t really matter where you came from, all that matters is that we’re all like-minded people. It’s important to know that you’re not alone in dealing with stuff.”

“Sports and competition help me with my anxiety.”

Jennifer Pariona
SPC Jennifer Pariona

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  Reservist (on Active Duty)

Hometown:

  Union City, New Jersey


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Belvoir, Virginia


Favorite Sports:

  Air rifle, cycling and sitting volleyball

Injury:

  Anxiety, depression

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports calm me down. It helps me cope. It keeps me focused and keeps my mind stable.”

Michael Phillips
CPT Michael Phillips

Rank / Branch:

  Captain / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Cullowhee, North Carolina


WTU:

  Fort Benning, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Shooting, cycling, swimming, archery, wheelchair track

Injury:

  Spinal cord injuries (T4-T6 and T10 and T11 extruded); L4- tailbone compacted and shifted out of alignment (spinal cord stimulator implant)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “The bottom line is I did not want to be defined by my injury and what I can’t do; I want to be identified by what I can do.” “Adaptive sports gave me a second chance at life as an athlete. It allows me not to be defined by my injuries but by my achievements.” “It’s just helped me become an athlete again.” Capt. Phillips said that he went from running 5-10 miles a day before his injury to not running at all after his injury, and that adaptive reconditioning allowed him to find something else to replace running.

Return to top of page

R


William Reynolds
CPT William Reynolds

Rank / Branch:

  Captain / Army

Status:

  Veteran


WTU:

  Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland


Favorite Sports:

  Paracycling, three-track skiing

Injury:

  N/A

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Adaptive sports, especially cycling, played a prominent role in my recovery and rehabilitation process.”

Isaac Rios Jr.
SSG Isaac Rios Jr.

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  New York City (Brentwood, Brooklyn and Coney Island)


WTU:

  Fort Lewis, Washington


Favorite Sports:

  Wheelchair basketball

Injury:

  I sustained damage to my right shoulder due to firearms and explosives. I sustained injuries to my hip, knee, hands, neck and nerve damage. I was also diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI), arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I want to show people that injuries do not hold wounded warriors back and set the example for the adaptive sport’s program.”

Return to top of page

S


Alexander Shaw
SSG Alexander Shaw

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Baltimore, Maryland


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Campbell, Kentucky (Cadre)


Favorite Sports:

  Basketball, volleyball, cycling.

Injury:

  Below the knee amputation, fractured third and fourth disc in neck, and hearing loss in left ear

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports bring the camaraderie back between me and my fellow Soldiers and give me a desire to do things I didn’t think I would ever do again."

Michael O. Smith
SSG Michael Smith

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Dallas, Texas


WTU:

  Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Cycling

Injury:

  N/A

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  I believe that performing in cycling, track, field, swim and volleyball will help me overcome my injury.

Monica Southall
SGT Monica Southall

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Suffolk, Virginia


WTU:

  Community-Based Warrior Transition Unit at Virginia Beach, Virginia


Favorite Sports:

  Sitting volleyball, shot put and discus

Injury:

  Bilateral rotator cuff, labrum tears, anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tear in right knee, lower lumbar spinal stenosis, and bulging discs L-3 to L-4, L-4 to L-5, L-5 to S1

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “Competing gives me the chance to be active in sports that work with my disabilities instead of against them.”

Matthew Spang
SGT Matthew Spang

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, golf, soccer and football

Injury:

  Bi-lateral below knee amputee, traumatic brain injury (TBI), headaches, memory loss, short temper and insomnia

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I forget about my injuries when I am playing sports. It’s part of my therapy.”

Willie Stafford
SPC Willie Stafford

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  National Guard

Hometown:

  Daytona, Florida


WTU:

  Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Stewart, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Football and basketball

Injury:

  Bunions and bilateral knee pain

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “I will be competing in 100mm and 200mm track and like the thrill of the competition. Adaptive sports are a big morale booster.”

Erin Stewart
SGT Erin Stewart

Rank / Branch:

  Sergeant / Army

Status:

  National Guard

Hometown:

  Springfield, Missouri


WTU:

  Fort Riley, Kansas


Favorite Sports:

  Swimming, air rifle and pistol, sitting volleyball

Injury:

  Back, right shoulder, sciatica and migraines

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Adaptive sports gets me away from things, (and keeps me) out of my head.”

Jesse Sweesy
SPC Jesse Sweesy

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  National Guard

Hometown:

  Rapid City, South Dakota


WTU:

  Fort Riley, Kansas


Favorite Sports:

  Archery, rifle and pistol shooting

Injury:

  Chronic cellulitis infections with Residual Lyaphadeitia compartment syndrome of the lower limbs

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “The significance of sports and competition are that they readjust my focus and take my mind off of the medical side of things. I can actually put forth focus towards a goal. For example, shooting has to be pin point accurate; you can’t be thinking of doctors.” “Just the opportunity to come here is kind of a big step in itself.”

Kevin Szortyka Jr.
SFC Kevin Szortyka Jr

Rank / Branch:

  Private First Class / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Tallahassee, Florida


WTU:

  Fort Stewart, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Wheelchair basketball, shot-put, swimming, sitting volleyball and cycling

Injury:

  Lower back injury

Significance of Sports / Competition:

  “I recently participated in Fort Campbell, Kentucky’s regional qualifiers for Warrior Games. I have always been active, so sports help me stay active; once you get injured you think you are out of the active lifestyle so it’s nice to have that level of competition.”

Return to top of page

T


James Michael Taylor, Jr.
SPC James Taylor, Jr.

Rank / Branch:

  Specialist / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Cleveland, Ohio


WTU:

  Fort Sam Houston, Texas


Favorite Sports:

  Track and field, archery and sitting volleyball

Injury:

  Back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and damage to ligaments on left side

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I was honestly born to be an athlete. “I love competition and now that I am able to do it again, I not only want to prove to myself, but the world that I haven’t given up.”

“Going to Warrior Games isn’t only a dream, but a life goal.”

“After my injuries, I wasn’t able to walk, but I never gave up and as a result I am able to compete again.”

Benjamin O. Trescott
SFC Benjamin Trescott

Rank / Branch:

  Retired Sgt. 1st Class / Army

Status:

  Veteran

Hometown:

  Dover, Delaware


WTU:

  Fort Jackson, South Carolina


Favorite Sports:

  Motorcycle road racing

Injury:

  Skeletal and muscular wounds, traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “I am competing in compound archery, pistol and rifle. I like to compete since it gives me goals to look forward to and push me.”

Return to top of page

W


Petrina Williams-Swaby
SSG Petrina Williams-Swaby

Rank / Branch:

  Staff Sergeant / Army

Status:

  Active Duty

Hometown:

  Fort Mitchell, Alabama


WTU:

  Bravo Company, Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) - Fort Benning, Georgia


Favorite Sports:

  Volleyball

Injury:

  Lower back

Significance of Sports/Competition:

  “Sports takes my mind off of issues going on. Keeps me focused and gives me something to look forward to.”

Return to top of page