By Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie , Air Force Public Affairs Agency
/ Published September 29, 2014
WASHINGTON -- As the fog rises over the track and the mist hovers above the pool, a special group of American Airmen are set to compete for athletic glory, service bragging rights and the opportunity to represent the United States Air Force at the 4th-Annual Warrior Games.
Beginning Sept. 28, for seven days, 40 Air Force veteran athletes will compete head-to-head within various adaptive sports for the 4th-Annual Warrior Games alongside more than 210 other warriors from the Air Force's sister services, taking place at the Olympic Training Center, Fort Carson and Garry Barry Stadium at Wasson High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.
The Warrior Games were first introduced in 2010, and is hosted by the U.S. Olympic Committee as an introduction to adaptive sports for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, to encourage them to stay physically active when they return home after their injuries.
"These athletes are the epitome of resiliency, and show what it truly means to be American Airmen," said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "Betty and I wish the Air Force Warrior Games team the best of luck and know that they will make our Air Force and our nation proud."
Service members and veterans who are expected to participate in 2014 will comprise five U.S. teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations.
But every long journey has a beginning stepping stone to the recovery process. Warriors train year-round for the competition by attending structured camps and clinics with the Office of Warrior Care Policy Military Adaptive Sports Program preparing for the Air Force Trials.
The athletes enroll into the Air Force Adaptive Sports program, which was created to bring adaptive sports to wounded, ill and injured Airmen to enhance their recovery, rehabilitation and quality of life.
AFASP and the Team Coaches use these adaptive sports to include; recumbent cycling, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery/air rifle, swimming, kayaking, track/field events, and many other individual and team sports to focus on the recovering service member and their lifestyles.
"Taking care of our Airmen has and always will be a top priority. We need to make sure every Airman has the care and support they need to maintain a high quality of life," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody. "The Adaptive Sports Program is an excellent program that does that for our wounded, ill and injured Airmen. We're thankful to each of our athletes and the selfless coaches who dedicate their time and effort to give them what they need to fully recover."
While in the AFASP the athletes then compete six months before the Warrior Games at Nellis AFB, Nevada, at the Air Force Trials giving it everything they have, to be awarded a spot on the 2014 Warrior Games Team. Along with being one of the 20 Air Force Airmen selected to compete at the Invictus games as part of Team USA that were held in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
The Airmen that are competing in the 2014 Warrior Game representing the United States Air Force are: