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March 7, 2014

Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp promotes bravery, courage

Vincent Pacely, an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp participant, prepares to throw a discus during adaptive sports camp, held at the Warrior Fitness Center, Feb. 26 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The camp is designed to introduce wounded warriors to sports featured in Paralympic Warrior Games.

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Teamwork, hardship and determination pushes warriors to feel at ease.

Approximately 50 Air Force wounded warriors from around the country participated in an introductory adapted sports camp here Feb. 24 to Feb. 28.

There are a variety of sports selected specifically to introduce wounded warriors to events featured in the Warrior Games, which are held annually and are open to wounded and ill service members representing each branch of the military.

“The adaptive sports camp gives an opportunity for wounded warriors to learn different sports and skills such as swimming, track and field, seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, archery, rifle and pistol shooting and cycling,” said Larry Bridges, 99th Force Support Squadron sports director.

Jabrier Lee, left, and Mitch Kieffer, Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp participants jog around the quarter mile track behind the Warrior Fitness Center, Feb. 26 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The camp introduced wounded warriors to adaptive sports during their early stages of recovery.

Bridges specified how important it is to have the whole base involved in the adaptive sports camp.

“We couldn’t do anything like this without having the whole base involved, Public Affairs as far as coverage, 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron as far as storage, Outdoor Recreation as far as the other facilities used during the camp,” Bridges said. “For an event like this it takes a lot of volunteers and it’s really touching.”

Participants in the adaptive sports camp are from all around the country, including one local participant from Nellis AFB.

“If it wasn’t for the adaptive sports camp, I believe I never would of tried to get better. I would have never known what I was able to do,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Aguilera, 66th Rescue Squadron first sergeant and Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp participant. “On top of that, being able to play team sports and interact with others again is such a great thing.”

Adaptive athletic reconditioning is reported to be imperative for the recuperation of wounded warriors.

“Recovery took about a year to get back up to speed. Four months after my recent amputation, I ran a half marathon. I am very proud of that,” Aguilera said.
 

Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp participants undergo a basic sit volleyball orientation clinic in the Warrior Fitness Center Feb. 25 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The camp was held from Feb. 25 to 27 and consisted of multiple sports.

 

Ian Holt, center, U.S. Armed Forces cycling team member, briefs wounded warriors participant during an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp Feb. 26 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The sports camp prepares individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in community sports.

 

Cody Caraker, left, adaptive sports camp participant, and Ian Holt, U.S. Armed Forces cycling team member, practice cycling techniques during an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp, Feb. 26 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Wounded warriors from across the country came to Nellis AFB to participate in swimming, cycling, wheelchair basketball, sit volleyball and air shooting sports clinics.

 

Participants of an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp partake in an airsoft rifle and pistol shooting event Feb. 27 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The participants learn how to load rifles and perfect technique with the help of mentors.

 

Vincent Pacely, an adaptive sports camp participant, takes aim with an airsoft rifle during an Air Force Wounded Warrior Adaptive Sports Camp Feb. 27 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. During the three-day sports camp wounded warriors practiced for the upcoming Warrior Games.




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