Baby steps, putting one foot in front of the other
June 10, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. (June 12, 2014) -- Staff Sgt. Allen Armstrong suffered an injury to his leg after a motorcycle accident in South Carolina in 2014, leaving the Soldier with an injury that would cause him to learn how to walk again at an older age. It starts with baby steps, putting one foot in front of the other.
After receiving world class treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Staff Sgt. Armstrong did not give up easily and participated in sports that helped him overcome his disability and focused on his therapy with the support of his family and his loving dedicated life.
"I knew my life would never be the same again since the accident," said Armstrong, who lost his left leg in the motor vehicle accident through no fault of his own. "I left work that day and was safely riding through the back roads when a vehicle lost control and hit me instantly pinning my leg between the motorcycle and vehicle". he said.
Armstrong, along with more than 100 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Veterans from across the country will face off in archery, shooting, cycling, track and field, swimming, sitting volleyball, and wheelchair basketball. The Army Warrior Trials will help determine the athletes who will represent Team Army in the 2014 Warrior Games slated for Sep. 28-Oct. 4, Colorado Springs, Colo.
"I don't know if I will win here, but you can be assured that I will give it my all." said Armstrong. Other service members with the same attitude and determination are competing for the same spot in the trials. "The coaches and staff are remarkable not to mention the other service members. They have been understanding and supportive of me." he said.
According to the military, allowing wounded, ill and injured warriors to participate in competitive sports boosts morale and helps overcome injuries. Further injuries can also be prevented with proper therapy, and being part of an athletic team is important to any athlete competing.
As the fifth year approaches for the Warrior Games, athletes are excited to compete against each other during these Warrior Trials because a select few will have the opportunity to travel to Europe to compete with other nations in the inaugural Invictus Games in September.
For Armstrong, he is taking baby steps. "It takes a step at a time to recover. Participating in track events helps me run faster and if I can run faster I can certainly walk faster." he said. "Learning how to walk again is a challenge but I have a valuable support system." he said.
Armstrong is training this week with athletic professionals from all over the county including military specialists at West Point. He and other wounded, ill and injured athletes are adjusting to the climate and getting familiar with the facilities that will be utilized for each event.