Warriors prove endurance, perseverance at CFI Minitry
June 9, 2011
- Wounded Warriors participate in Mini-Try May 27 at Fort Sam Houston
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Enduring the blistering Texas heat, wounded warriors proved their endurance and perseverance at the Brooke Army Medical Center’s 4th annual Center for the Intrepid Memorial Day MiniTry, held May 27 at Fort Sam Houston.
More than 80 wounded warriors participated in a trio of non-competitive sports, consisting of a 500-meter swim, 10-mile bicycle ride and a two-mile run. The event was followed by a community brunch for participants, family members, staff and volunteers.
The event allowed the Soldiers to challenge themselves in different sports, ultimately motivating and encouraging them throughout their rehabilitation process. The event also provides a community event where patients, staff and family members can interact in a non-clinical environment.
“This event is almost like having a reunion. Wounded warriors from the past and present join together to support each other and take their rehab to the next level,” said Kari Roth, CFI lifeguard. “It is not about competing against each other, it’s about what you can do for yourself. It’s not about a tangible prize you can hold. The real prize is making it to the finish line.”
Participants included Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom patients from Brooke Army Medical Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Canadian soldiers.
“I believe each participant builds a strong sense of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing they have succeeded in doing something that they did not think possible earlier in their rehab,” said Maj. Terrance Fee, CFI officer-in-charge of Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Department.
“They are surprised to see what they can do,” Fee added. “Even the Canadian team was very excited to see how our service members rehabilitate and invited us to try out a Winter MiniTry somewhere in Northern Canada so that we can experience the opposite of Texas summer heat. We’ll see what happens.”
“Troy [CFI PT staff] nagged me to take part in this event, I finally agreed and here I am,” said Sgt. Ashton Wallace, a left leg amputee who finished the two-mile challenge in his wheelchair. “If I am here next year, I would like to try to do all three activities. This really boosts my self esteem and motivation.”
Sgt. Legrand Strickland, who lost both legs above his knees in Afghanistan, finished his two-mile walk with his family. He mentioned he was not tired in finishing his walk but it was difficult to maneuver his legs. He also finished the 500-meter swim and the 10-mile bicycle ride.
“I’m not tired of walking because I use to be a runner before I was injured,” Strickland said. “It was just hard to get my legs to move with the prostheses but I am proud of myself for finishing all three activities.”
“He’s cool,” said Strickland’s son, Nathan.
“I’m so proud of him; he came a long way since the injury,” added his wife, Carrie.
The event is a joint effort of many organizations that came together in making this year’s Mini-Try a success, Fee said, thanking the Paralympics Military Program, Challenged Athletes Foundation, Operation Comfort, Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled Sports USA, Morale Welfare Recreation, the 502 Force Support Squadron, Alamo City Gator Club and the Jason George Memorial Foundation.