By LTC Danny Dudek, WTC G-3 Operations
Today I get to ignore all the routine emails and work at the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) and do something I truly love. I get to compete for a slot as one of 50 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers on the U.S. Army’s 2012 Warrior Games team. I’m sure the competition is going to be tough, but I’ve been waiting two years to finally have the opportunity to get involved on a personal level.
This is going to be a great year for the Army and I’m sure we’ll show the Marines how dominant we can be. In addition to my role as one of these dominating Soldier athletes, I’ll also try to have some fun swimming and cycling for the WTC. First I need to make the team, and this weekend will show if I have a shot at one of those 50 slots.
As with many tasks in a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), working with wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers can be a challenge. I always enjoy sharing my experiences with Soldiers who are hard-headed and struggle to participate in Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) events. These events include having a daily job or task in addition to medical appointments, making a complete plan during a CTP scrimmage, and actively communicating in an honest and open way with their nurse case manager and squad leader.
I’ve seen these very same Soldiers turn around in a positive way after competing or participating in adaptive sports and reconditioning programs. It may be a kayak trip with a local adaptive sports organization, a winter sport camp with the great people at Disabled Sport USA, a cycling event with Ride to Recovery, or something as simple as participating in daily WTU adaptive reconditioning events.
For me, it is about remaining competitive. Though I’m either in a wheelchair or on crutches, all the barriers keeping me from getting out there and participating in sporting events are illusions, there are always ways to make it work. I can’t wait to get out there.
Stand by to hear if I make the team and get to represent the Army in the 2012 Warrior Games in April and May in Colorado Springs.