FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Four soldiers assigned to the Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion are in Tampa, Florida to compete in the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games through Sunday, hosted by the U.S. Special Operations Command.
The DOD Warrior Games is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. The games highlight the resiliency and warrior spirit of participants despite their wounds, injury or illness.
“For me personally, it’s a good opportunity because after I got injured this last time it was pretty rough,” said Fort Campbell WTB soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Fontenot.
Fontenot said he felt discouraged leaving his soldiers after his knee-injury took him from the fight.
“It gives me something to fight for," he said.
Fontenot and fellow Fort Campbell WTB soldiers, Master Sgt. Cinnamon Wright, Sgt. 1st Class Ian Crawley and Staff Sgt. Ken Arnold, successfully competed in the Army trials in March and now are among 40 soldiers selected to represent Team Army in this year’s Warrior Games. They will compete against teams from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands and Denmark.
The Warrior Games were established in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured service members and to expose them to adaptive sports. Participants, who may have upper-body, lower-body, and spinal cord injuries; traumatic brain injury; visual impairment; serious illness; and post-traumatic stress; will engage in friendly competition designed to serve as a powerful recovery tool building confidence, camaraderie and resiliency through sports.
“We are all incredibly proud to these soldiers from the Fort Campbell WTB, showing grit and determination to represent themselves and Team Army in the 2019 Warrior Games,” said Lt. Col. Heath Holt, commander, Fort Campbell WTB. “We hope they are able to show all participants and fans the level of hard work, courage and commitment they’ve achieved to reach this level of competition.”
The Fort Campbell WTB supports wounded, ill and injured soldiers who require six months or more of complex medical care. Adaptive sports and adaptive reconditioning activities are incorporated into each soldier’s individual care plan to help soldiers improve motor skills and focus, reduce the risk of secondary injuries, relieve stress, increase independence, and build a supportive social network.
Soldiers at the WTB participate in 210 minutes of physical activity and two adaptive reconditioning activities each week. A physical therapist from the battalion evaluates each soldier based on their wounds, injury or illness and identifies physical activities the soldier may participate in that facilitate both physical and mental recovery. The adaptive reconditioning team offers soldiers a full spectrum of traditional and adaptive physical activities to participate in, including many of the events offered at the Warrior Games. The Warrior Games feature 13 adaptive sports including archery, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, indoor rowing, powerlifting, marksmanship, golf, and cycling.