Road to Warrior Games Update

MSG Ron Prothero, who is stationed at Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, practices swimming laps during the 2013 Team Army Warrior Games cycling and swimming selection clinic. The selection clinic was conducted January 07-12 at Fort Bliss, Texas. (Photo by Patrick Cubel)

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom
As the Warrior Games steadily approaches, more than 180 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans from across the U.S. and Germany are training at various training and selection clinics in hopes to be selected as an athlete for the Army’s team.

“We looked good last year and had quite a few successful athletes in many of the sporting events, but how we looked last year versus how we look now is completely different,” said MSG Jarrett Jongema, Adaptive Reconditioning Branch Noncommissioned Officer in Charge. “Different in that we have tried to build a more balanced, yet competitive team across all of the sporting events.”

During the 2013 Warrior Games, slated for May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, athletes will compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track and field, archery, and competitive shooting with hopes of being awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal.

“It’s great to see a Soldier or Veteran who has never tried one of these sports to come to the clinics, learn about it, go back home and practice, then come back determined to do better than their last try-out,” Jongema said. “They come back to each clinic with a higher caliber of motivation as well as improved results with their various scores, times, or distances.”

The training clinics are preparing the Soldiers and Veterans not only to compete for the Army during Warrior Games, but give them a chance to explore different reconditioning activities that they have not tried before.

“These clinics are more than just about making the team,” Jongema said. “We are trying to teach our Soldiers and Veterans about the different types of adaptive reconditioning activities because they could help in the recovery process.”

“The part that separates these clinics from other Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning events is that they are competitive in nature first, with the therapeutic and recreational aspects coming in second and third,” he added. “This changes the vibe in the air a little knowing that the people sitting in the room with you are competing for the same spot on team Army as you.”

The final round of training and selection clinics will take place the last week of February through the third week in March, and team selection announcement is tentatively planned for the first of April.

While everyone who tries for the team will not be selected – there is a 50 team member limit for each service during the Warrior Games – athletes are receiving specialized one-on-one training from experienced coaches, many who are U.S. Paralympics competitors or medal winners.

“Not only do we have top-notch competitors, but the coaches’ reputations speak for themselves,” Jongema added. “We are determined to select and compete with only those who put forth the efforts and really give it their all.”

For more information about Warrior Games visit the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command Road to Warrior Games page or the U.S. Paralympics website.

Keep checking back for more updates as the road to Warrior Games continues.

AW2 Soldier Credits Comprehensive Transition Plan for Helping Him Through His Recovery Process

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom

AW2 Soldier and Operation Warfighter Intern 1LT Dana Summons recently joined the WTC adaptive reconditioning branch. He will help other wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers add physical activities in their journey to recovery.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with AW2 Soldier and Operation Warfighter Intern 1LT Dana Summons who recently started working at the Warrior Transition Command in the adaptive reconditioning branch. He has 18 years of military service and takes full advantage of the different opportunities made available. I’m inspired by his positivity and courage. Most of all, I wanted to know why Summons feels it is important to share his story.

“The Army has given and invested so much in training me,” Summons said. “I currently have a bachelor’s degree in arts and history and am also working to complete an associate’s degree in project management.”

During our conversation, he credited the six domains of the Comprehensive Transition Plan  in helping with his journey to recovery. The Comprehensive Transition Plan is a systematic framework that allows wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers to customize their recovery plan across six domains—career, physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual.

“I can clearly see how important the six domains are in my life,” Summons said. “For example, working at my internship has been therapeutic for me. It has helped with my physical domain because I have to get back and forth on the metro, but also the social [domain], because I’m interacting with individuals again.”

On October 4, 2010, while deployed to Kandahar with the 101st Airborne, 3rd Brigade, Summons stepped on a dismounted, pressure-plated Improvised Explosive Device. The blast threw him 10 feet into the air.

“Smoke was everywhere, my ears were ringing, and I heard someone yelling ‘the LT’s been hit, the LT’s been hit,’ Summons said. “I knew there was only one other LT there, and I saw her running around, checking on her Soldiers.”

“As the smoke cleared, I turned my head to look at my right shoulder, and that’s when I saw my foot there. My left leg was across my chest,” Summons added. “All I could think was, oh boy, his is really going to hurt.”

A 19-year-old medic told the squad leader to grasp the artery in Summons’s right arm where shrapnel had embedded into his shoulder.

“If the medic had not known to do this, I would have lost my arm,” Summons said. “I credit him with saving my arm, and my life.”

Two years and 14 surgeries later, Summons shares his positive message and his faith to help other wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers.

“When I was healing and going through my recovery process, my mental state was at the lowest point. I had to readjust, and I didn’t know how to transition to the new normal,” he said. “I have always believed in a spiritual being, but going through this really strengthened my faith.”

“I want others to know that life goes on, and it’s possible to fulfill hopes and dreams even with physical limitations,” Summons added. “Someone can always benefit from your story.”

Summons’ Operation Warfighter (OWF)  internship landed him in the Warrior Transition Command adaptive reconditioning branch. This office is responsible for aiding in the recovery of our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers by reconditioning their physical, emotional, mental, and cognitive states through adaptive activities.

“It’s great to have Soldiers who have gone through similar life changes working at our organization,” said LTC Keith Williams, WTC adaptive reconditioning branch chief. “We can’t expect other organizations to hire our wounded, ill, and injured if we are not willing to do the same.”

“LT Summons is doing a fantastic job so far, and I look forward to the insight he can give us to better help our population,” Williams added.

While Summons is still waiting for a final decision to see if he is able to continue his military career, or is found unable to continue, he said he wants others going through similar situations to learn from his experience.

“I had to learn how to walk again, but I didn’t let that stop me. I mean, look at me now. It’s two years later and I’m living a very happy life,” Summons said.

Warrior Games Assessment and Selection Clinics Underway

By Emily Anderson, WTC Stratcom

U.S. Army SSG Charles Baird, currently assigned to the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit, takes aim during the Army archery and sitting volleyball assessment and selection clinic for the 2013 Warrior Games.

The U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command Warrior Games assessment and selection clinics are currently being held throughout the United States to find the best athletes to represent the Army during the annual Warrior Games.

“The clinics are really good because it gives me a chance to get active and be a part of a team again,” said SGT Jeremy Bowser, currently assigned to B Company, Fort Drum Warrior Transition Unit. “I feel I’m getting involved and not just sitting around doing nothing. “

The first multi-sport clinic was held in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the last week of October and the second multi-sport clinic will take place November 4 – 9, 2012, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Fort Belvoir clinic included specialized training in archery and sitting volleyball, and the Fort Bliss clinic will include cycling and swimming activities.

“Providing opportunities to compete and rebuild confidence in their abilities is the primary reason we’re holding these clinics, but we also want Soldiers and Veterans to try the different reconditioning activities.” said LTC Keith Williams, Adaptive Reconditioning Branch Chief, Warrior Transition Command. “This is the athletes chance to see if there’s another sport they would really enjoy doing.”

“Bringing awareness to the different types of activities available is the one of the reasons we host clinics and camps on military bases or highly populated military areas,” Williams added. “Our primary camps and clinics focus on holistically reconditioning our Soldiers in each of the six Comprehensive Transition Plan domains.”

Since 2010, nearly 200 wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers and Veterans competed annually at Warrior Games, a unique partnership between the Department of Defense and U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program. Warrior Games’ athletes  compete in sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, cycling, track and field, archery, and competitive shooting. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the athletes or team members who place first, second, or third  in their events respectively.

“It’ll be exciting if I make the team because I’ve never done a competition like this before,” said SSG Charles Baird, currently assigned to A Company, Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit. “This is a new experience, and it will be a great honor to take part in something like this which not everyone is able to do.”

Although Baird is competing for a position on the Army’s archery team, he decided to look into the other Warrior Games sports for a chance to secure a spot on the team.

“Participating in these clinics is very therapeutic and helps take my mind off of other things.” Baird said. “I’ve played wheelchair basketball before, but I will have to learn how to swim because if I don’t make the team this year I’ll have an extra advantage for next year’s team.”

Last year the Army dominated in several events, winning more than sixty medals, and 2013 Warrior Games looks to be no different.

“After watching the competitors during the clinic and the feedback I’m getting from the field, I have no doubt the Army’s team will be a reckoning force during the 2013 Warrior Games,” Williams said.

Commander’s Drumbeat: What a Week for Army at Warrior Games

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander
Wow.  I have never been more proud to be a Soldier in the United States Army than I am after watching the Army compete this week.  The Army Warrior Games team has turned in performances that make all of us proud to wear the uniform, and today was no exception.

I’ve had a blast all week and have made it a point to get to every event, and I want you to understand just how much excitement we’ve all experienced:

  • Monday: At the Opening Ceremony, the 220 athletes from all the services and the British armed forces marched across the Olympic Training Center with pride.  Their heads were up, shoulders back, all proud to wear the colors of their service branch.  Proud of what they’ve given our country, and what they’ve accomplished personally since they became wounded, ill, and injured.  Mrs. Michelle Obama and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, GEN Martin E. Dempsey, helped America see how important this event is, and how much wounded, ill, and injured warriors can accomplish.  AW2 Veteran Melissa Stockwell, who competed for the United States in the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, lit the torch and reminded all the athletes competing–and all wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers throughout the country–how much is still possible even after injury.  GEN Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and LTG Patricia Horoho, Army Surgeon General, both met with the Army team and attended the opening reception.
  • Tuesday: The Army women swept the podium at cycling and CPT Bill Longwell brought home gold for the men.  Seeing the elation on CPT Longwell’s face when he crossed the finish line and the Army spirit in Veterans Tanya Anderson, Margaux Vair, and 1LT Lacey Hamilton posing with their medals, I knew we were in for a great week.  And we made a strong start in sitting volleyball.  The Honorable John McHugh, Secretary of the Army, kicked off the cycling competition and presented medals to the cycling winners.
  • Wednesday: Army swept the silvers in all four archery categories.  SGT Fred Prince and Veteran Kinga Kiss-Johnson took home individual silvers, and we won the “team” silvers in both the recurve and compound categories.  And if that wasn’t enough, Coach Steve Coleman had promised the team that if they did well, they could shave his very bushy beard and hair.  He looks 20 years younger without it.  And later that night, Army was on top of our game in sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.  You should hear the crowd in the gym for both these sports – you can barely hear yourself think.  Between the cowbells and airhorns and cheering fans, the athletes from all the services know how much they’re supported.  And there was more – the PA system couldn’t get the British national anthem to play before their exhibition sitting volleyball game, so the team belted the lyrics with incredible sense of country.SMA Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army, visited with the Army team and cheered them on throughout Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Thursday: We brought home three medals in shooting: SGT Fred Prince and Veterans Justin Miller and Ben Trescott.  The Army Marksmanship Unit came out to help our athletes train, and they were instrumental in helping the Soldiers prepare.  Thursday evening, Army qualified for the gold medal game in both sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.  We won gold in wheelchair basketball last year and silver in sitting volleyball, and members of both teams told me that they were hungry to take home gold.
  • Friday: What an exciting day.  At the track, we sang the Army song over and over, as so many of our athletes won gold.  In his third Warrior Games appearance, Robbie Gaupp brought home two gold—in the 100m and 200m, and now he’s talking about qualifying for the Paralympic Games in London.  Kinga Kiss-Johnson, Anthony Pone, Monica Southall, and Juan Soto all won gold in different categories of shot put, and they all made it look easy.  Then Friday night, we dominated the Marines in sitting basketball and wheelchair basketball, bringing home gold in both team sports.  I could barely sit down during either game, I was cheering so hard and so excited for our teams.  GEN Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army, was out at the track cheering on Army athletes and presented track and field medals.
  • Saturday: Army wrapped up the week with a strong showing in swimming.  There were some incredible performances from all the services.  WTC’s own LTC Danny Dudek, author of the new Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) policy and procedures, won gold in his race by more than a minute.

All in all, Army took home 62 medals: 18 gold, 19 silver, and 25 bronze.  Congratulations to all of the Army athletes on turning in a series of outstanding performances, and to all of the competitors here this week from all branches, including the members of the British armed forces who competed.

And to all wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans who want to compete at the 2013 Warrior Games, we’ll let you know in the next few months about the training clinics and selection process.  I encourage you to continue to incorporate adaptive sports and reconditioning into your every day recovery and ongoing physical fitness routines, and I look forward to seeing the Army deliver another outstanding performance next year.

Using Mental Skills in Shooting Competition

By Lindsay Holtz, Guest Blogger and Performance Enhancement Specialist with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness-Performance and Resilience Enhancement Program (CSF-PREP)

Army Veteran Justin Miller, a Galion, Ohio native, pauses before taking a final shot during the 2012 Warrior Games pistol shooting competition held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 3. Miller earned a bronze medal during the final pistol competition. (U.S. Army Photo by SSG Emily Anderson, WTC)

In competitive shooting, every step of one’s routine matters. Army Veteran Justin Miller spent the last few months working on the components of competitive shooting to create a consistent and accurate routine. Miller gave up all sport aspirations due to his injuries, but then he learned about the Warrior Games.

“I hadn’t heard anything about that before. And as they were talking I was thinking about my experience in shooting, swimming, and why not cycling,” Miller said. “It provided a lot of motivation.”

Shortly thereafter, Miller found himself on his way to attend the first WTC shooting clinic. It was at this first clinic I met Miller. I am a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness-Performance and Resilience Enhancement Program (CSF-PREP).

I introduced mental skills training with these athletes from day one. The training focused on creating routines and developing a consistent shot plan, including both physical and mental strategies. According to  SFC Janet Sokolowski, one of the team’s coaches from the Army Marksmanship Unit, “shooting is 90 percent mental. Once you get the fundamentals, it all becomes mental.”

Miller took this to heart and found that deliberately crafting and writing down his routine provided him with a personal point of reference to keep him consistent. In addition, Miller consistently set daily goals which provided him with something to think about while shooting during each practice.

I also worked with Miller on imagery techniques combined with biofeedback training. By using imagery, Miller is able to conduct a match in his head, and he found during practices that his shot groups have gotten closer. Miller is also able to think through and bring in all aspects of shooting without physically holding his weapon. The mental skills Miller incorporated in shooting have allowed him to be more automatic while in the midst of shooting.

While Miller has implemented a number of mental skills into his work in shooting, he has also found them to be valuable in his everyday life.

“One day, shortly after the shooting clinic in January, I was on my way to an appointment. My anxiety was spiking, and I began to think about what we discussed at the clinic,” Miller said. “I was able to use the skill of tactical breathing and it helped calm me down and gain greater control.”

Miller said at that moment there was a “pivotal change” for him. Using mental skills helped him get to a point that he was able to get out of the barracks and enjoy doing things again.

He has shown the importance of shooting through his dedication and passion both between and during practice. For him, shooting allows him to find enjoyment in a sport with similar intensity as rock climbing for which he has a strong passion but is no longer able to participate. From the his experiences  on his journey to the Warrior Games, Miller has found a passion for recreation therapy and plans to take what he  learned and help others, like him, find a passion for something in which they may have lost hope.

Army Sitting Volleyball Team to Compete for Gold at Warrior Games

Members of the U.S. Army sitting volleyball team faced the U.S. Air Force team during the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (U.S. Army photo by CPL Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

By CPL Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment      
The U.S. Army sitting volleyball team was victorious in their match against the U.S. Air Force team during 2012 Warrior Games on May 2, 2012 at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their victory placed them in the finals competing for gold against the Marines, on May 4.

The Army team of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans defeated the Air Force team after winning the first two sets in the match.

The score at the end of the first set was 25-23, with the second set ending in 25-21.

The Warrior Games, hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee and supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, began April 30 and concludes May 6.

The Warrior Games allows athletes to demonstrate the dedication and determination of wounded, ill, and injured men and women of the armed forces by highlighting their abilities as athletes and warriors.

Army Soldiers and Veterans in the competition are competing against servicemembers from the Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy, and Special Operations Command for gold in seven sporting events and for the Chairman’s Cup, an award given to the top-performing service team.

The game against the Air Force was neck and neck, but through skill and teamwork the Army team prevailed.

“We came back from behind, overcame adversity, and won the game,” said retired SGT Robbie Gaupp, a player on the sitting volleyball team and native of Gatesville, Texas. “I knew we were going to play for nothing less than gold.”

After losing to the Marines in their first match earlier this week, coach David Vendt prepared his players for an inevitable rematch.

“We have to make sure that we’re mentally focused and that we continue to play the game we know how to play. And play it the Army way,” Vendt said. “We’re going to take it tomorrow night.”

Army Dominates Marines In WheelChair Basketball Rematch

Retired Army CPL Perry Price III, of Wilmington, Del., races down the basketball court alongside retired Army SPC Juan Soto, a San Antonio, Texas, native, at a wheelchair basketball game against the Marines during the 2012 Warrior Games at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. on May 3. The Army defeated the Marines 45-27. (Photo by Army SGT Jerry Griffis, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

By SGT Jerry Griffis, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment
Two rivals met on the court again May 3, 2012, for a second night of wheelchair basketball.  The Warrior Games continued with the Army team facing off against the Marines for a chance at the gold medal.  Fans cheered, and anticipation was high as the game began with retired Army CPL Perry Price III, a Wilmington, Del. native, scoring the first two points of the game.

The Warrior Games is an annual competition between wounded, injured, and ill service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and SOCOM.  The games feature a variety of sporting events, including cycling, shooting, wheelchair basketball, archery, track and field, swimming, and sitting volleyball.

The game was not without bumps and bruises.  At one point, retired Army SSG Paul Roberts, of Newport News, Va., scored two points right before crashing into a padded goal support.  The play was highly contested between the two teams, and after falling out of his chair, Roberts walked off the court unassisted.

Overall the Army team dominated the game with a final score of 45-27.

“We were going to come out like we would against anybody, with a lot of intensity, and a lot of focus and try to have a little patience on offense and get the shots that we wanted,” said Doug Varner, the Army wheelchair basketball coach. “We have one game left and it will be the gold medal.  We will make a few tweaks defensively.  The Marines played really well.

“The team played great. The team played as a team all the way through, said Army Veteran, Damion Peyton, of Washington, D.C. “I’m not even worried about us getting that gold.”

Army Takes Another Win in Sitting Volleyball

The U.S. Army and British Armed Forces sitting volleyball teams pose for a photo after an exhibition match for the 2012 Warrior Games on May 2, at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The British team was invited to participate in the Warrior Games this year as a special guest. (Photo by Army SGT Jerry Griffis, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

By Sgt. Jerry Griffis, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment

The U.S. Army sitting volleyball team won their third match of the 2012 Warrior Games on May 2, and also bested the British Armed Forces team in an exhibition match.

During the match between the Army and SOCOM, the Army dominated the first set with a score of 25-16.  The second set was such an easy win, but the Army came out victorious in the end with a score of 26-24.

It was a night of camaraderie and friendship as the Army played a match against the British Armed Forces team who were invited to this year’s Warrior Games as special guests.  The Army won the first set 25-17.  Showing they were not to be beaten easily, the British team came around to score a victory in the second set, 25-12.  The match continued into a third set to break the tie, with the Army winning the set 15-10.

After the exhibition game, the U.S. Army and the British team came together to pose for photographs and congratulate one another on a game well played.

Mixed Victory for Army Sitting Volleyball

Army CPT David Vendt, U.S. Army sitting volleyball coach, pulls his team together to discuss strategy during the first set against the U.S. Navy at the 2012 Warrior Games on May 1, 2012 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

By SGT Jerry Griffis, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment
The U.S. Army sitting volleyball team played their first matches of the third annual Warrior Games on May 1, 2012.  It was a night of mixed emotions as the U.S. Army lost the first two sets against the Marines and won the first two sets against the Navy/Coast Guard team.

The Warrior Games is an annual competition between wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers from the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM).  The competition features a variety of adaptive sports including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, track and field, and wheelchair basketball.

During the first match, the Marines defeated the Army 25-18, and then 27-18.  During the second set of the match, the competition was fierce as the Army fought to even the score. Eventually the Marines were able to come out on top, pushing the games to the next round.

In the second match, the Army faced off against the Navy/Coast Guard team. The Army seemed warmed up and ready as they cleared the path to victory in both sets. The Army defeated Navy/Coast Guard 25-22, and then 25-18.

Army sitting volleyball coach, CPT David Vendt, said there were some initial hiccups early in the night, but they won’t stop his team’s drive to win the gold.

“The Army team played the Army way,” said Vendt.  “We will continue to march.”

Army Cycling Team Wins Big at 2012 Warrior Games

CPT William Longwell crosses the finish line and takes the gold medal in the 2012 Warrior Games Men’s 10k hand cycle event at the U.S. Air Force Academy May 01, 2012. (Photo by Army SGT Jennifer Spradlin, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

By SGT Jennifer Spradlin, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment
After months of intensive training, an extremely competitive selection process, one week of on-site practices, and immeasurable amounts of friendly trash talk, it was finally time for the athletes of the 2012 Warrior Games Army cycling team to shut up, cycle, and win.

And that’s just what they did. The Army went on to win six individual medals on the hilly U.S. Air Force Academy course—two gold, one  silver, and three bronze—and tie the Marine Corps after the first event of the competition.

CPT William Longwell started the Army off the strong by finishing first in the men’s 10k hand cycle event with a blistering time of 20 minutes, 54 seconds. Veteran Anthony Robinson also performed well in a fast race and took the bronze in the same event.

“It felt great to cross the finish line. I knew I was in first, and I knew I was the first medal for the Army,” said Longwell. “I definitely got tired during the race. I knew I had a 300m lead on everybody, and so I took it a little bit easier up the last big hill, but then I looked over my shoulder and saw the Marine back there and downshifted a little bit more and kept going. I just kept thinking to myself, ‘keep going, keep truckin’.”

Longwell attributed his success to the amount of training and preparation he underwent prior to the games. He said he was biking on average between 40 and 60 miles a week. Longwell, a Batavia, Ill. native, began cycling in January when a combat injury had sidelined his ability to do other cardiovascular workouts, and soon found himself hooked.

“I knew I was going to win. I just trained too hard not to win, but more so than anything, I was trying to beat my own personal time I set for myself,” said Longwell, who encouraged other wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers to get outside, have fun, and try out the cycling community.

Next off the race line were the female bicycle events.  Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women swept the medal stand.  Army Veteran Tanya Anderson, a full-time cycling coach for the Marine Corps at the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at Camp Lejuene, claimed gold with a time of 18 minutes, 28 seconds. The silver medal went to Veteran Margaux Vair, and the bronze went to 1LT Lacey Hamilton.

“I am proud of the entire female squad,” said Anderson a Laguna Beach, Calif., native. “We came and swept the whole field like we had planned.”

Despite working closely with the Marine Corps, Anderson said making the Army team and being around other Soldiers felt like coming home, and winning the medal helped cement her Warrior Games experience.

“It was such an honor to go out there and represent the Army and win the gold,” said Anderson.

The final races, the Men’s 30k bicycle open and the 30k physical disability, were the most competitive of the day, each event saw several lead changes and cyclists sprinting to the finish line to place. SSG John Masters emerged the lone medalist for the Army in the two categories, finishing just ahead of another Army bicyclist for the bronze in the 30k physical disability.

The Warrior Games bring together wounded, ill, and injured servicemembers in a sporting competition hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Competition continues throughout the week with archery, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball, and track and field.

To learn more about the Warrior Games or the Army athletes, visit the Warrior Transition Command at

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