By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionMarch 21, 2017
When Staff Sgt. Marcus Manchaca was injured in a motorcycle accident, it limited his physical activity. Throughout his 17 year military career history he would also endure hearing loss, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury
Manchaca would see these setbacks as a challenge.
"I am still of value to not only society and the Army, but myself and my family. That while my injuries sustained throughout my 17 year career may limit me from certain activities, I can still bring something to the table," Manchaca said.
The U.S. Border Patrol Agent and Army Reservist began to heal from the inside out at the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sam Houston.
"The time spent at the WTU has given me a chance to heal. Most of the time I have used "band aids" or temporary fixes to heal whatever is wrong with me. Being here has given me the opportunity to really take care of what is wrong with me before it gets to the point of no return and drastic measures are taken. Too many times service members turn to drugs, alcohol or suicide to end their pain," he said.
Manchaca developed a love for several adaptive reconditioning sports including air rifle and pistol, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, shot put, discus, and swimming while recovering at the WTU.
Manchaca is currently training for Army Trials in Fort Bliss, Texas. If chosen, he will represent Team Army at the 2017 Warrior Games set for June 30 -July 8 in Chicago.
"Adaptive sports gives you that spark you need to continue. You cannot be defined by your injuries. You can overcome anything you put your mind to," Manchaca said.
The Texas native says the true sense of resilience comes from his family.
"My wife and children have been my pillar of strength throughout my career and my life; without them I could never have accomplished half of what I have been able to."