SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The road to the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games has officially opened at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii as Regional Health Command -- Pacific begins its Regional Trials. This is the first time an event like this has been held in Hawaii and the staff is excited to make it great for all those involved. Roughly 80 Soldier athletes will compete for the chance to advance the next stop on the road, Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas this coming February.

The Soldier athletes will spend the week competing in eight adaptive sports; archery, cycling, field, shooting, swimming, track, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Experience levels vary from those trying sports for the first time to those returning for another crack at representing Team Army and competing at the 2018 DoD Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. Whatever the experience level, they will all be looking to compete and have fun while doing it.

Events like Regional Trials can have a positive impact on the overall recovery efforts of these individuals by providing, at a minimum, two of the six domains with social and physical opportunities for them to participate in. Being around other wounded warriors who are going through or have been through similar experiences can also be a kind of therapy in its own right.

As always, competition will be fierce and people will be trying their best to win, but when they finish, those same people will be cheering and encouraging their competitors across the finish line. For some of the competitors, the road to Warrior Games will end with this week's Regional Trials. Others will continue on to Army Trials at Fort Bliss and possibly the 2018 DoD Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. Whenever the road ends for these Soldiers, each of them will hopefully leave Schofield Barracks with an increased confidence in themselves, some new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.