Wounded warrior dating site

I later started working for the Elizabeth Hospice Center, which honors the service of veterans with six months or less to live. After thousands of people helped me recover, I found happiness in helping others. Shooting, Swimming Current location: Traumatic brain injury and knee damage after being hit by a car. I come from a military family, so it felt very natural to enlist in the Coast Guard in I trained as a yeoman because I wanted to build skills I could apply in the civilian workforce should I separate from the military.

Just three years later, I was medically separated from the Coast Guard after I was hit as a pedestrian by a drunk driver. I sustained a traumatic brain injury and damaged my right knee. I had to learn again how to write with my dominant hand, and I still sometimes have trouble reading.

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But my hard work throughout my recovery has paid off. Today, four years after my accident, I teach autism awareness, I volunteer for a local rescue squad, and I help new Emergency Medical Technicians pass their state practical exams. NWW truly saved me. When I was feeling very low, a staff member contacted me about a sports camp, and since then, my life has truly changed. When I am with fellow wounded warrior athletes, I do not feel judged, and I never have to explain myself. I have teammates who are missing limbs and who are confined to wheelchairs, yet they accomplish a great deal.

Retired Navy Aircrewman Events: Field, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming Current location: Shot while helping a man being robbed at gunpoint, leg was amputated while in a coma. Steam rises from the asphalt of the track after a common Florida afternoon shower. Any sane person in Jacksonville would be indoors right now. But I am not that person. I represent the down, the distraught, the broken. This is my first time sprinting in over two and a half years, and my body is constantly reminding me of that fact. I keep wondering why I put myself through this.

Then, I think about how I was injured: I think about other wounded warriors—whether they were recently diagnosed with a serious illness or finding a new normal after combat—and all they are fighting to overcome. Any sane man would call it a day and spend the rest of it on the couch in an air-conditioned room, but, of course, I am not sane.

I still have to head to the weight room, the pool, the volleyball court and throw shot and discus. Shakespeare, I agree—once more. Parks is the author of a new book, Miracle Man. Field, Shooting Current location: My father, Jim Castaneda, suffered a stroke during muster aboard U. Tortuga LSD 46 in October , and since then, his road to recovery has been long and often difficult.


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But one wonderful highlight has been the DoD Warrior Games. It all started with his experience in the first-ever Warrior Games in , where he participated in track and field and swimming. Initially, he was skeptical about the Warrior Games and how he could participate after his injury, but he was so glad he went. In the coming years, my father lost mobility on his right side, but he still found ways to participate; he even took up one-handed archery, in which he uses his teeth to pull the bow!

During that time, he also participated in other adaptive sports outside the Warrior Games, such as air rifle tournaments in the Texas Regional Games and hunting competitions with Freer Deer Camp. Adaptive sports still present challenges for my father. Due to his injury, it has become difficult for him to concentrate and focus, which causes him to tire easily while participating in sports.

Though the recovery process has been tedious for my father, one thing he never lost was his optimism and outgoingness. He loves the world to which the Warrior Games introduced him. Special Operations Command Captain Events: Cycling, Running, Swimming Current location: Adult-onset Type 1 diabetes. I returned from a mission overseas with classic symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. I went from running marathons and long-distance triathlons to nearly passing out on short runs.

After a few weeks of denial, I went to the doctor, and a few days after my 29th birthday, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. But as I was in the hospital learning how to manage my diabetes, I found out about all the incredible things that athletes with diabetes accomplish. There are diabetic athletes in the NFL, in Formula One racing, and, most inspiring to me, an entire world class professional cycling team where everyone is Type 1.

Learning about these incredible athletes motivated me to redouble my efforts to become a better athlete. I quickly found a connection between my diabetes and sport. By better managing my diabetes, I became a faster runner and cyclist, which in turn motivated me to be in better control of my diabetes. My training also helped me transition from the Army. Sports became a critical link between my new identity and my time as a Solider. Initially, I saw the Warrior Games as a way to stay connected with other Special Operations veterans and participate in their training program, but the journey became so much more than that.

I am now a part of a team again, representing the U. I was blessed to have served this great country. The Warrior Games remind me that we have an obligation, whatever our circumstances, to pursue excellence in all we do, both in sport and in life. Air Force Technical Sergeant Events: Rifle Shooting, Archery Current location: PTSD, traumatic brain injury, seizures, right upper extremity disability.

I was a flying crew chief and it was our role throughout both wars to bring home HRs—human remains—from the combat zone. Over time, though, you become quite numb to the fact that there are HRs down in the cargo box. Numb to what is going on around you. Numb to your friends and family. All your emotions shut off. Then the sleep deprivation and the night terrors start.

Before long, your body breaks down as well. I had nine service-related surgeries—on my cervical spine, my shoulder, my wrist and an elbow.

Meet 15 Extraordinary Wounded Warriors Who Are Stronger Than Ever

My doctor down at Bethesda Naval Hospital told me due to my arm damage, I would never again do things I loved again like archery, rowing and rock climbing—basically anything that required upper body strength. This made me bitter and angry at the whole world. It not only took me out of action; it also exacerbated the PTSD. I would jump and startle at the drop of a hat. I would disappear for hours on end, and when it started becoming days, my wife was extremely concerned.

I just wanted the pain and useless feeling to stop. Then, in , I met a woman who would later become like my adoptive Momma. Her name is Mary Ellen Whitney. Momma runs a place in New York called Stride, which teaches adaptive sports to youth with special needs. There is also a Stride Warrior program for vets. On my first outing with Momma, she and her husband LJ took me snowboarding. I never thought I could do it: At one point I said to Momma: I was in the pool floundering and turning in circles. The swim coach jumped in with me and asked me what the hell was I doing.

Take your damaged arm put it in your hand in your pocket. Use the good one and the good one only. Something clicked in my head. What else can I do? I went and saw the shooting coach, and then cycling and archery. I took a bronze on freestanding rifle shooting.


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  8. Momma gave me the saying and I live it every day of my life now: You learn to live with it. And adaptive sports are one of my tools for living with it.

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    I will survive this. Archery, Track, Volleyball Current location: I was stationed at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan, and was almost at my five-year point of remission from testicular cancer. I had just gone through my annual scan and doctor visit without a hitch, felt healthy, and was focused on my career and enjoying family time overseas. It turned out that my ribs were ok, but the doctors saw a tumor in my chest wall and wanted to get additional imaging to investigate.

    I never returned to Japan after that. While there, I received an email that said the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program had an introductory adaptive sports camp coming up designed just for people like me. I made a ton of friends and benefited from talking to other warriors who had gone through similar experiences. I am still recovering from some of the negative effects of chemotherapy but am in remission again, have been returned to Active Duty and am a member of the Air Force team at the Warrior Games.

    I feel very blessed and excited for what the next two weeks will hold for my teammates and I, and for what the Air Force Wounded Warrior program will do for others in the future. Volleyball, Cycling Current location: PTSD, traumatic brain injury, hemorrhages, occipital neuralgia. When I was told my medical limitations would limit my deployments and my ability to do my job, life as I knew it came to a sudden halt.

    I began to lose purpose with myself and our family. I began to feel as a burden. For so long I worked hard and believed deeply in what I did. In the winter of , a teammate who was also getting ready for medical retirement approached me. She patiently spoke with me for over two hours. In January I joined the program. It brought me back to the spirit I had held for so many years, the unconditional mindset of not accepting restrictions on my life—of finding an adaptive way of thinking and finding ways to get me back into living. Before my medical issues, I was an avid outdoorsman, triathlete, diver and sky-diver.

    It all fed my competitive nature and desire to shatter through any wall put before me. Now, with their assistance over the last six months, I not only woke up that sense of purpose, I also placed as a primary athlete with the Wounded Warrior Team. I will proudly represent our Air Force, our staff and coaches, our Team and our recently lost teammate, Master Sergeant Richard Gustafson. No one fights alone. Air Force Master Sergeant Events: Cycling, Field Current location: PTSD, traumatic brain injury.

    Meet 15 Extraordinary Wounded Warriors Who Are Stronger Than Ever

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