Sports

May 11, 2012

Nellis Warrior competes in 3rd Annual Warrior Games

Tags:
By Tech. Sgt. Maresha Haynes
Airman Magazine

(Editor’s Note:  The Air Force brought home a team-record 18 medals April 30 through May 5 during the 3rd annual Warrior Games.  Among those competing was Master Sgt. Christopher Aguilera, 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.)

In June 2010, a helicopter carrying seven rescue personnel crashed in Afghanistan. The rescue crew was on its way to save injured service members in the field when the helicopter was struck by enemy fire. Five crew members died from their injuries.

But two survived.

Today, those two battle-bonded Airmen, Capt. Anthony Simone and Master Sgt. Christopher Aguilera, face another challenge together on a different field. They competed in the 2012 Warrior Games on the Air Force team. This was the first Warrior Games for each of them.

“I love archery, and I love cycling, and I can do both of those here,” Simone said. “And seeing Aggie, that’s why I loved coming (to the games) here.”

“It’s (was) really awesome to look over and see Tony at the games pushing himself,” Aguilera said. “It’s a definite motivation.”

Both of the Airmen have had a long journey on the road to recovery, but they continue to fight for themselves and the Air Force.

Aguilera, who was a gunner on the helicopter, literally broke most of his body during the crash and sustained severe burns.

“I wasn’t scared, but quite honestly, I thought I was going to die,” Aguilera said. “I couldn’t breathe right, I couldn’t talk right, and I could barely lift my head because (all of my bones) were broken. We were surrounded by the enemy. I thought everyone was gone and I was going to be with my brothers in heaven.”

The crew of the second bird in their two-ship formation rescued Simone and Aguilera. The tables were turned, and the rescuers were now the ones being rescued.

Among those competing in the Air Force 3rd Annual Warrior Games were Capt. Anthony Simone and Master Sgt. Christopher Aguilera, 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.

“I had a lot of pain so I was hallucinating a lot, and for some reason I thought I was at a campfire or something,” Aguilera said. “It was really the aircraft on fire. I kind of woke because the dirt (from the rotor wash) was hitting my face, and I looked up and saw the three pararesuemen from our two-ship walking up to our bird. It’s a bad day when you see guys who see a lot of ugly stuff looking at you like ‘This is bad.’”

Aguilera is back at work with his unit, the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and even received an “excellent” score on his physical training test, without any waivers.  He said his next professional goal is to get back on flying status.

Simone didn’t break any bones in the crash, but he incurred a traumatic brain injury that affects the left side of his body and his memory. Simone doesn’t remember anything about the day that changed his life.

“Thank goodness he remembers what happened,” Simone said of Aguilera. “Thank goodness my gunner remembers it because I have no idea. I can trust everything my gunner says, always.”

Simone is still undergoing treatment four times a week at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and uses a recumbent bike and adapted bow that allows him to keep participating in the sports he loves as he regains the use of the left side of his body.

Through everything they’ve been through, individually and together, the pair said they’ve learned to share each other’s successes and not to put their recovery on a timeline.

“Honestly, at the end of the day, I’m just happy to be alive,” Simone said.




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


 
 

 

Air Force fighters, bombers conduct strikes against ISIL targets in Syria

TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria Sept. 22, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to...
 
 
page-one

End of an era: 65th AGRS set to deactivate

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – After almost a decade of unyielding service, the 65th Aggressor Squadron will be deactivating. Since being reactivated Sept. 15, 2005, the 65th AGRS helped provide air combat training for militar...
 
 

Information security part of everything we do

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s been one of those days. You are super busy and your unit just received another tasking. You are trying to do five jobs at once and don’t even have time to think. You decide to help your unit deployment manager get the word out and forward an email...
 

 

When leaders earn their keep

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It’s no secret that a key to being a good leader, military or otherwise, is taking care of your people. I strongly believe Airmen aren’t able to perform at their peak if their personal lives are in disarray. Whether financial woes, marital issues, illnesses or other troubles, it’s tough...
 
 
birthday2

Nellis celebrates Air Force birthday

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Lt. Col. Tammy Johnson, 99th Force Support Squadron commander, and Airman Scott Chatwin, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator apprentice, cut a ceremonial U.S. Air...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis remembers POWs, those MIA

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika U.S. Armed Forces veterans bow their heads in remembrance during the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Recognition Ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 19. During th...
 




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