Soldier overcomes injuries, competes in Warrior Games
April 17, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. (April 15, 2013) -- Just over two years ago Krisell Creager-Lumpkins lost her footing on a mountainside in Camp Williams, Utah while she was conducting tactical land navigation.
"I don't recall details of it but I do remember getting knocked out," Staff Sgt. Creager-Lumpkins said. "I remember waking up to a medic shining a light in my eyes and saying 'her pupils are not responsive.' Then I don't remember anything else until I woke up in the hospital.
"My unit medically evacuated me out first by Humvee, then by ambulance," said Creager-Lumpkins. "I remember waking up in the hospital and being pissed off, and I had to read the report to know what had happened."
For Creager-Lumpkins falling off of the side of a mountain was the opening of a new door, and an opportunity to show her fellow Soldiers what it means to never quit.
"In the 2011 Warrior Games I watched one of my battle buddies compete in the games after an injury," said Creager-Lumpkins, Company A, Warrior Transition Battalion. "I had always been an athlete and it was very early on in my recovery. I just made a statement that: 'I will be here next year' and from that moment I worked my tail off with all sorts of therapies to make it to the 2012 Warrior Games, and I did that."
The Warrior Games are designed to introduce injured service members and veterans to paralympic sports competition, and encourage them to stay physically active when they return to their local communities following the event.
The Games are comprised of five U.S. teams, representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations, as well as one international team from the U.K. Teams will compete in seven sports including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting-volleyball, swimming, track & field and wheelchair basketball.
Creager-Lumpkins' positive, 'don't stop until I am where I want be attitude' has brought inspiration to others.
"She never lets her injuries beat her," said 1st Sgt. Barry White, Company A, Warrior Transition Battalion. "I have known her for about two years now and she has always been a positive force; she has never been negative. You will have Soldiers that will get injuries that are endless and they will let it beat them. She has never done that; she has been the one to always try and conquer [her injuries]."
Creager-Lumpkins' nonstop attitude represents her passion for her country, and her indomitable spirit enabled her to overcome her injuries to compete in the Warrior Games.
"She gets scuffed up, bruised, stitches, breaks a finger, does something, but she is there at the very next camp," said Master Sgt. Jarrett Jongema, noncommissioned officer in charge, Warrior Games.
"She takes [the injuries], turns around and comes right back. That told me that when I selected her for the team that she wouldn't quit and truly wants to be on this team, truly wants to represent not only her team but her country."
Creager-Lumpkins said that this year she wants to be better, faster, and stronger than last year. She wants to have more fun, enjoy being in the games, and celebrate the little victories of overcoming her injuries in ways that she hadn't before.
Creager-Lumpkins is set to compete in the Ultimate Champion Events, which both men and women both compete for the same trophy, the events are: cycling, shot-put, 10 meter prone air-rifle, 50 meter freestyle swim, and a 100 meter sprint.
Editors note: This is the first of four features highlighting Fort Carson's four participants in the Warrior Games