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.

Duty with Fort Hood WTB – An Incredible Journey for Former Commander

U.S. Army MAJ Jason Good of the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade.

By Major Jason “Jay” Good, Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade
I am honored to recognize Warrior Care Month by sharing a snapshot of my experience as cadre in a Warrior Transition Unit. I had the distinct privilege of working for the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) since January of 2008 when I was first activated as an Army reservist.

What an amazing journey and life-changing trek! Since I started here, I commanded more than 700 Soldiers in transition, and served with numerous cadre and civilian staff members. It’s been both an honor and a privilege.

I knew within a month of arriving at this newly formed organization that this assignment was going to be special.

I began my journey here as a company commander. From there, I moved on to battalion executive officer, and later, to battalion commander. In 2011, I stood up our pilot remote care program, and here I am in 2012, the Brigade S3—the last duty assignment of my Army career.

I developed personal relationships with everyone, and truly became a life coach to those that I served. With that, I had to expose myself in a way that allowed others to see me as a human, a man behind the uniform with similar life challenges.

I shared my own stories of failures and accomplishments, mental and physical battles, and the internal desire to overcome and achieve on the path to recovery. Whatever medical or personal issue we faced, I had to be part of the treatment plan, which was a real commitment to the journey, not just in words, but in a partnership that could be visualized through action. Embracing this commitment allowed me to see my role in a different light.

During this five-year journey, I shed many tears of sorrow from the countless memorials of Soldiers lives taken too early. Whether it was terminal cancer, addiction, or sudden tragedy, the impact was the same. My heart ached for the staff, friends and Family left behind who worked diligently as a team to surround the Soldier with “care and compassion.”

I also shared in many personal moments of joy, watching Soldiers in transition accomplish something great through the belief that anything is possible on the way to healing. This journey allowed me to be a part of the inaugural Warrior Games, bike over 400 miles with Ride 2 Recovery, participate in the Bataan Memorial Death March, build a relationship with the USO, forge a partnership with our community adaptive sports, develop resiliency opportunities for cadre, and become a role model for my peers.

As I pack my bags and move on to retirement, I will be forever thankful that I was given the privilege to serve those in need who committed themselves to a greater cause.

As my military journey ends and I, too, transitioning, will have many memories of my time with the WTB. I gained lifelong friends in the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade by simply being myself and sharing in the human spirit.

AW2 Veteran Alvin Shell Calls on Employers to Break Down Preconceived ideas of TBI, PTSD, and Physical Disabilities

AW2 Veteran Alvin Shell continues to share his story publicly in order to inspire wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans and to gain support for the AW2 community.

By Alli Kartachak, WTC Stratcom
Recently I had the pleasure of connecting with AW2 Veteran, retired CPT Alvin Shell who spoke with his wife two weeks ago on a panel at the 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium. After the event, I was eager to follow up with CPT Shell and learn more about him and his outlook. I respect his bravery and wanted to know why he thinks it is important to share his story. Most of all, I wanted to know how CPT Shell feels when he speaks about his journey through transition and into recovery.

Alli: What did it mean to you to share your story at the 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium?

CPT Shell:  It meant a lot to share my story with the attendees at the 2012 Warrior-Family Symposium. When I saw some of the people wiping away tears, nodding their heads to affirm a point I was trying to make, and clapping their hands, it made me feel like my Family’s sacrifice was appreciated.

Alli: How have experiences like this symposium helped you throughout your recovery?

CPT Shell: Experiences like this have really helped me. I always get more from the experience than I give. Hearing other stories of triumphs, tenacity, and true American patriotism is what gets me out of bed. These other wounded warriors keep me humble and inspired. I can never complain about my burned limbs and joint pains when there are others without limbs and joints that work twice as hard as me.

Alli: What message can you give to other wounded, ill, and injured Veterans who have recently separated from the Army and are looking for jobs?

CPT Shell: Work hard. Don’t allow people to focus on your disabilities, allow them to focus on your abilities. There is no defined career track, promotion point system, or senior NCOs to guide you through your career. If you begin to feel like you deserve a promotion or a job without merit and stop relying on the tenacity that helped you fight through your recovery and through your military career, you will be left behind and miss opportunities in your organization.

Alli: What is the biggest lesson you learned through your injury and recovery?

CPT Shell: My Family is everything to me. My mother and father are my heroes. I draw strength from their wisdom and love. My three boys inspire me to work hard. They have taught me more than I have taught them. My wife has been everything a husband could ask for.

Alli: How can real people support wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans who are actively seeking employment?

CPT Shell: Break down the preconceived ideas of what TBI, PTSD, and physical disabilities are and talk to our wounded warriors. Their patriotism will inspire. Their work ethic will enhance your company. Their stories are the building blocks of this nation.

Thank you CPT Shell for taking the time to answer my questions and share with us your positive and supportive messages. Thank you for your commitment to your fellow Veterans and your strength in supporting those who have served our country. Thank you for inspiring us.

 

Commander’s Drumbeat: Visits to Warrior Transition Units Inspiring

By BG David Bishop, Commander, Warrior Transition Command
After two months on the job as Commanding General of the Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care, I’m already deeply inspired by the indomitable spirit of our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers recovering at our Warrior Transition Units (WTU), their Families and by the cadre who support them. As an armor officer I’ve seen firsthand the significance and results of your efforts and I recognize the dedication and talent of everyone who supports our WTU Soldiers and their Families – here in the National Capital Area and in the field.

Almost immediately after arriving here I began visiting WTUs – I’ve seen 12 in 60 days.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Senior Mission Commanders, Soldiers, Family members, cadre, and interdisciplinary team members.  I was able to examine a variety of issues with a primary focus on suicide prevention, sexual harassment and assault prevention, and the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which directly impacts our WTU Soldiers.  I received invaluable input and feedback from leaders on supporting wounded, ill and injured Active Component and Reserve Component Soldiers and their Families. As a result of this great feedback, my staff is already working to address many of the challenges we encountered.

I toured barracks and saw for the first time virtual reality technology that helps our severely wounded adapt when they return home. At the U.S. Open in New York I met with wounded, ill and injured service members and U.S. Tennis Association representatives.  Physical fitness has always been important to me and this group helped me understand the special role adaptive reconditioning and sports can play in helping Soldiers heal. Our Warrior Games athlete, Army SPC Ryan McIntosh, was particularly impressive.  A positive, determined, and resilient below-the-knee amputee and Soldier, SPC McIntosh represented the Army well as a U.S. Open ball person and also during multiple national media interviews.  I expect to see him compete during the 2013 Warrior Games and very likely in the 2016 Paralympics.

As the WTC Commander and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care, a significant part of my role is to educate, inform, and inspire the Warrior Care and Transition Program team.   Understand that you are all critical to ensuring that we honor our sacred obligation to continue to care for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers as long as there is a need.

I am privileged to be a member of this team and look forward to serving you and keeping you up-to-date on what’s going on at WTC and throughout the Warrior Care and Transition Program.

Army Strong!

Study Shows “The Tie Goes to the Vet” during Hiring Process for Leadership and Teamwork Skills

By Amanda Koons, WTC Stratcom
Hiring Veterans makes sense.  A recent study published recently by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) makes a compelling argument to employers that hiring Veterans is good for business, bottom line.

CNAS used in-depth interviews with 87 leaders of companies to determine the primary reasons business leaders listed for hiring Veterans: their leadership and teamwork skills.  Veterans have typically led colleagues, accepted directions from others, and operated as part of a team.  One employer said, “We look for people with leadership skills. If someone can lead a team of Soldiers around the world, they can lead our large stores.”  All company leaders interviewed said they seek to hire the most qualified candidate but, as one participant said, “The tie goes to the Vet.”

Among the other reasons business leaders in the study listed for hiring Veterans are:

  • Character:  Veterans are perceived by employers as being trustworthy, dependable, and having a strong work ethic.
  • Structure and discipline: Companies, especially those that emphasize health and safety, appreciate Veterans’ experience following established procedures.
  • Expertise:  Companies value Veterans’ skills, job-specific experiences, and understanding of the military community.
  • Dynamic environment: Veterans are used to performing and making decisions in dynamic and rapidly changing circumstances.
  • Resilience:  Veterans are accustomed to working in difficult environments, traveling, and relocating.

Employers actively recruit Veterans through military career fairs, partnerships, employment websites, web portals, headhunters, and employee referrals. WTC offers additional recommendations for wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers as they focus on preparing for the next step in their careers, whether they’re returning to the force or transitioning to civilian life.  Suggestions and resources for career planning for active duty Soldiers, Veterans, spouses, and employers are included on the Careers and Employment section of the WTC website.

Commander’s Drumbeat: Taking care of wounded, ill, and injured soldiers – a sacred obligation

BG Darryl A. Williams

After serving as the commanding general of the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) since 2010 I’m packing my ruck sack and moving to Korea where I will be the 2nd Infantry Division’s Assistant Division Commander – responsible for logistics and support. As I leave you all I feel trained, ready and uniquely qualified to serve with the 2d infantry Division.  It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as the Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition, and as Commander, Warrior Transition Command.  It has been rewarding on so many levels and that makes leaving here bittersweet.

Although I’ll soon be half a world away in Korea, I’ll never really be far.  After all, I’m a WTC alumni now and my attention will always be on our wounded, ill and injured soldiers. I consider taking care of this population a sacred obligation.  I believe that how we support these men and women says everything about who we are.  It defines our future.

As I pen my last WTC Commander’s Drumbeat, I’m reminded that I’ve deployed and been in battle. I’ve heard my soldiers cry ‘medic’ and I’ve watched those medics rush to their side, putting themselves in harm’s way.  This command, the Warrior Transition Command – is a testament to Army medicine. The people in Army medicine are committed and dedicated and professional.  They do a lot of heavy lifting without any fanfare.

Today I passed Warrior Transition leadership to Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop. Brig. Gen. Bishop will be only the third commander of Warrior Transition Command.  I know he is looking forward to being here and to serving this very special population.  I came here as a colonel and followed great general officers who shaped and developed this command. Maj. Gen. Mike Tucker and Maj. Gen. Gary Cheek came before me and provided all the elements that helped me succeed.  I hope Brig. Gen. Bishop will feel he is set up for success as well.

Serving and taking care of soldiers is what I want to do, and during my past two years as WTC commander, I’ve been able to assist soldiers and their families at the strategic, operational and tactical levels – in ways I never knew possible. I found out quickly the wounded, ill and injured soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Units (WTU) have complex problems that require complex solution sets.

It’s been an incredibly satisfying job.   No day is the same and no job is the same at the WTC.  We are constantly facing challenges and unique cases.  During my tenure here the staff has been extraordinary.  Since 2009 we have worked together to develop Army guidance and policy for 29 WTUs and nine Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTU). Collectively, they provide care for more than 9,500 wounded, ill and injured soldiers and their families.  We also have oversight of the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). This is a truly special program.  AW2 supports and advocates for the most severely wounded, ill and injured soldiers and veterans with a network of more than 200 AW2 advocates and additional support staff located at WTUs, Military Treatment Facilities, VA Polytrauma Centers, and other VA facilities.

Some of you may be surprised to know that since 2007, Army medicine has returned almost 23,000 soldiers back to the Army and back to the fight. Ladies and gentlemen — that is more than two Army divisions. We also have transitioned about 22,000 to veteran status. We’re a lean organization and we’re good and getting better every day.

There have been numerous accomplishments under my watch and I can’t take credit.  I’ve had support for much of the heavy lifting from a dynamic team of professionals at WTC headquarters and at the WTUs and CBWTUs. From the top down to that essential young noncommissioned officer squad leader responsible for 10 soldiers and family members, each person is an integral ingredient to the success of WTC.

As WTC commander, it has been a privilege to visit the Army’s WTUs and CBWTUs.  It has been a blessing to be in a position to reach out soldiers and families at Military Treatment Facilities, VA Polytrauma Centers and other VA facilities across the country.

I’m grateful to Army leadership for empowering me to solve problems and find solutions. I had no idea how important that would be before I came here.  It’s important for that WTU soldier and his family to know that he’s going to be all right.  It’s important for them to know we have their back.  WTC is a very young and nascent command.  I believe we have a moral imperative to keep the Warrior Transition Command alive.

Clearly this is the best team I’ve ever been a part of.  We’ve got Army Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors all pulling together for our wounded, ill and injured soldiers, veterans and families.  I’m the guy out front, but this is a total team effort.  It has been a privilege of serve in the Army for almost 30 years and each assignment has always been fulfilling – none more than this.

Thank you – each of you – for your professional and personal support.

It is my honor to serve.  God bless you.

Commander’s Drumbeat: Warrior Transition Command Welcomes New Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Director

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander
Yesterday during a ceremony at Fort Belvoir, we passed the directorship of AW2 from one great hero and wounded Soldier, COL Greg Gadson, to COL Timothy Karcher, another wounded Soldier and great hero.

People say to me that it’s a bit unusual to have a ceremony for a command staff director. I agree, but I wanted to do this
to highlight the significance of WTC and its mission, and to also recognize the importance of the AW2 director and what it represents.  In fact, the Secretary of the Army described it best when he was recently quoted as saying, “caring for wounded warriors is a sacred obligation.”

BG Darryl Williams, Warrior Transition Command, Commanding General (center), COL Tim Karcher (left) and COL Greg Gadson (right),enthusiastically sing the 'Army Song' following an Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) program change of directorship ceremony held at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. on June 19.

A lot of people don’t realize that the Army continues its relationship with this population even after they transition from military service.  COL Gadson has been a leader of these efforts.  COL Gadson strengthened that relationship over the past two years as director of AW2.  During that time and under his leadership AW2 flourished and now supports more than 11,000 individuals,9,700 of which are Veterans, the others are assigned to one of the 29 Warrior Transition Units throughout
the United States and Europe.

He’s been an extraordinary AW2 director, father, husband, war hero, in-demand speaker, movie star, and not to mention an inspirational motivator for the New York Giants.  He’s done a superb job.

As a result of his willingness to lead from the front, not only has our leadership taken notice, but so have the media, Congress and public, private, and non-profit organizations.  In a very real way, our nation stepped forward and embraced Greg Gadson and the population he represents.

As he moves on to command Fort Belvoir, I’m very grateful that COL Karcher agreed to accept the challenge that comes along
with being the next AW2 director.  He has held many command and staff positions in the United States and in Europe.

COL Karcher is an impressive officer and Soldier who deployed to Iraq three times. During his second deployment, he was shot in his left arm and evacuated from theater, only to return to complete the deployment with his unit.  During his third deployment while serving in Sadr City, Iraq in 2009, his vehicle was struck by an explosively formed penetrator resulting in the amputation of both legs above the knee. Since then COL Karcher has been recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

These two officers are very similar. Both are heroes and role models, both are clearly meant for great things, and both are
at the right place at the right time to represent and advocate for our country’s most severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.

I feel very fortunate to have had COL Greg Gadson as the AW2 director for the last two years and wish him well in his next
assignment.  We are equally fortunate to have COL Timothy Karcher to pick up and carry the torch for the Army as we continue
to stand by this population of Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families.

I thank COL Gadson from the bottom of my heart for his courage and willingness to serve.  We are all better for knowing him.

As my own tenure as Commander of the Warrior Transition Command rapidly comes to a close,  I’m sorry that I won’t have the opportunity to work with COL Karcher to take AW2 and the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program (WTCP) to new
heights, but I believe in him and feel confident the program will flourish under his leadership.

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.

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.

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