Sports

May 16, 2014

Wheelchair racing becomes Marine’s passion

Tags:
Senior Airman MARCY COPELAND
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Marine Cpl. Ivan Sears races around the track May 8 at Luke Air Force Base where he trained during the Paralympics Desert Challenge in Mesa. Sears is a fourth generation Marine, who, after being injured in 2010, became a silver and gold medal winner during the Wounded Warrior Games. For more photos and Paralympic training story, see Page 16.

For many, Luke Air Force Base is a place where people work and physically train to maintain the Air Force fitness standards, but for Marine Cpl. Ivan Sears, it is a place that can lead to a spot on the Paralympic Team for international competition.

Sears joined the Marine Corps in October of 2008 as a fourth-generation Marine. During his first deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, Sears was injured when a roadside bomb detonated, launching shrapnel into his arms and legs and leaving him with a concussion. Sears rejoined his unit for a three-day operation after recovering and being medically cleared.

On the last day of patrol, his unit returned to the forward operating base. It was here, at the closure of his first patrol back from his first injury, Sears stepped on an improvised explosive device buried inside the doorway to the compound. The blast propelled him 20 feet into the air, instantly amputating his legs. As his body hit the ground, all Sears could taste was dirt and see a cloud of dust around him. Members of Sears’s unit quickly treated his wounds, saving his life. He was medically evacuated from the FOB for further treatment.

Sears worked his way out of an emotional two-month slump after months of painful and intense physical therapy learning how to operate his body again. He began working toward a new mission of wheelchair racing.

“I had to push through it,” Sears said. “Life is going to live on. No one is going to stop living, so I had to learn to basically grow up again, to relearn everything.”

Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability. Amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and partially sighted when combined with another disability may qualify to participate in the wheelchair racing event. A modified wheelchair with the standard two side wheels and a third wheel on the front is used in sprints, middle-distance and long-distance racing. This became Sears’s new passion.

Sears is still an active-duty Marine and performs two jobs for the Marine Corps. He works with families of wounded warriors at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He takes care of all their needs so their full attention can be given to their wounded family member. His second job is representing the Marine Corps, competing in the Paralympics.

“Never give up on life,” he said. “Never take anything for granted, especially the little things. That is what I’ve learned after being deployed and coming home injured. You appreciate all the little things in life because you’re here to enjoy it.”

Sears has competed nationally and internationally and has won gold and silver medals at the 2013 Warrior Games. He hopes to join the U.S. Paralympic Team one day and be on the top podium receiving the gold.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Rain

Lakefront property …

A staff sergeant watches as water continues to flood a parking lot Monday in front the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit on Luke Air Force Base. The base experienced a two-inch rainfall causing flooding and delays around Luke.
 
 
courtesy-photo

Program ALIS initiated

No, it isn’t the Program Alice from the “Resident Evil” movies. It is the Autonomic Logistics Information Systems, also known as ALIS, which enables F-35 Lightning II operators to plan ahead to maintain and sustain its sy...
 
 

‘The butterfly effect’

Shortly after taking command, the Wild Duck Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge requested I explain to his Airmen exactly what the pilots would be doing on training missions during an upcoming temporary duty. I was embarrassed that he had to ask. In this specific case, I had thoughtlessly kept these details from our closest...
 

 

Advise Airmen of rights before asking questions

Every day supervisors are faced with challenging scenarios and situations that require them to engage in efforts to help their Airmen. When this engagement is due to a negative act such as theft, damage to property or other possible legal violations, we must resist the instinct to question them directly. One scenario I am presented...
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Thunderbolts save volts

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE A solar array panel stands on a dormitory roof Sept. 3 at Luke Air Force Base. There are currently four active solar arrays on base. The solar array shown will produce hot water to the dormitory. With res...
 
 

News Briefs September 12, 2014

GOV service station closure The Base Service Station (government-owned vehicle gas station) will close at midnight Sept. 28 and reopen at midnight Oct. 1. For more information, email Staff Sgt. Bradley Ahlemeyer at bradley.ahlemeyer@us.af.mil or call 623-856-7391. Quit tobacco for 31 days The Stoptober Challenge is to be smoke free for the month of October....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin