• Veteran  Margaux Vair crosses the finish line during the Women's 100 meter dash open competition during the track and field competition of the 2012 Warrior Games, May 4, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. She took the gold with a time of 14.68 seconds.

    Winning Gold

    Veteran Margaux Vair crosses the finish line during the Women's 100 meter dash open competition during the track and field competition of the 2012 Warrior Games, May 4, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. She took the gold with a time of 14.68 seconds.

  • Sgt. Delvin Maston launches the discus during the Men's Wheelchair Discus Throw during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Launching the Discus

    Sgt. Delvin Maston launches the discus during the Men's Wheelchair Discus Throw during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

  • Veteran Chanda Gaeth launches the shot put during the Women's Shot Put Wheelchair-Field competition during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games, May 4, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Gaeth won the bronze medal with a 5.22 meter throw.

    Shot Put Launch

    Veteran Chanda Gaeth launches the shot put during the Women's Shot Put Wheelchair-Field competition during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games, May 4, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Gaeth won the bronze medal with a 5.22 meter throw.

  • Track and Field Coach Richard Harris gives Sgt. Delvin Maston some advice before his first throw during the Men's Wheelchari Discus Throw during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Giving Advice

    Track and Field Coach Richard Harris gives Sgt. Delvin Maston some advice before his first throw during the Men's Wheelchari Discus Throw during the track and field portion of the 2012 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Army News Service, May 5, 2012) -- Army athletes took six gold, five silver and seven bronze medals during the track and field events May 4 at the 2012 Warrior Games here.

"One of the biggest things coming from something like this both on the mental side and physical side are improvements," said retired Staff Sgt. Michael Kacer. "Emotionally mentally, physically, you just better yourself as a whole once you get into sports."

Kacer joined the Pennsylvania National Guard right out of high school and remained in the military for 10 years and five months until his retirement in May 2010. During his deployment to Afghanistan he was injured by a rocket. Today he took home a silver and three bronze medals.

The impact of being injured and not being able to compete in sports can be hard to deal with for many wounded warriors.

"Not being able to play sports again was depressing," said Sgt. Monica Southall. "The Warrior Games came along and gave me the opportunity to be competitive again."

She said it was a pretty rough journey to get here because of the injuries she sustained in 2009 in Afghanistan.

Even though she still deals with a lot of pain, she went home with a gold for her 37-foot throw in the Women's Shot Put, beating out the rest of the services. She competed for her next medal in sitting volleyball during the evening events.

"If you are sitting in your room and not doing anything, it is a way to be active again," Southall said. "Regardless of what is wrong with you, you can do something in the Warrior Games."

The Warrior Games was created in 2010 as an introduction to Paralympic sports for injured service members and veterans. The competition has become a springboard for many service members and veterans to continue participating in sports programs in their communities after the event. The real goal is to provide strength for those who served.

"The only thing going through my mind isn't the medals, the only thing I got going through my mind is have fun and leave it out on the field," Kacer said.

For more information about the 2012 Wounded Warrior Games, visit: http://www2.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics.aspx

Page last updated Thu May 10th, 2012 at 12:03