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News > 59th MDW Airmen honored for performance at 2013 Warrior Games
2013 Warrior Games
59th Medical Wing Vice Commander Col. James McClain poses with members of the 59th Medical Wing Patient Squadron and the Wounded Warrior Project June 12 at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center. Wounded Warriors from the Patient Squadron were recognized for winning six of the Air Force's 30 medals at the 2013 Wounded Warrior Games. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Courtney Moses)
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59th MDW Airmen honored for performance at 2013 Warrior Games

Posted 6/17/2013   Updated 6/17/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Courtney Moses
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

6/17/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Eight Airmen from the 59th Medical Wing Patient Squadron were recognized for their performance at the 2013 Warrior Games during a ceremony held June 12 at the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center.

Capts. Sarah Evans and Wesley Glisson, Master Sgts. Shawn Schwantes and Sherri Nel, Staff Sgts. Jason Caswell and Lara Ishikawa, Senior Airman Orion Orellana, and Airman 1st Class Clint Williams were honored amongst friends, family and colleagues when the 59th Medical Wing Vice Commander Col. James McClain, commended their ability to recover, reintegrate and thrive after overcoming significant physical and behavioral challenges.

"Without your tenacity and dedication, this accomplishment would not have been possible," McClain said. "I know that successes like this are not automatic and are the result of practice, hard work and sacrifice, and I hope this unique experience has helped you in your recovery process."

Although each Airman was physically successful, some had to look past their doubters, as well as within.

"Just because somebody says you're done with this and done with that, doesn't mean you are," said Caswell, who won a bronze medal in both shot put and discus. "The biggest challenge I was faced with was not to hide behind my injury."

The eight wounded warriors brought home six of the Air Force's 30 medals, to include gold in the women's 100, silver in the women's 200, silver in men's tandem cycling and men's 1500, as well as bronze in shot put and discus. Held May 11-16 in Colorado Springs, Colo., the 2013 Warrior Games showcase the resilient spirit of wounded, ill or injured service members from all branches of the U.S. military.

Evans, who lost her leg to bone cancer in 2012, said she garners motivation by observing the achievements from those who have come before her.

"It was a big learning experience," Evans said. "When you're freshly disabled you think that you can't do these things anymore and when you can see others that are able to do these incredible events and perform at a high level. That's what motivates me."

Participation in adaptive sports activities is an important part of healing and recovery for wounded, ill or injured personnel, but Caswell said mental determination is the key to accomplishing any obstacle he may face.

"You have to find that internal drive, and once you find that internal drive grab a hold of it and you will be surprised by what you can do," said Caswell. "The world never stops, your life doesn't stop. You get injured and then you learn to adapt. That's why it's called adaptive sports."

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