By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionFebruary 12, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. - Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do just about anything to obtain it? Staff Sgt. Ross Alewine, assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Va. has endured multiple surgeries following injuries he sustained over multiple deployments. As a result, the 29 year old Infantryman will soon be medically retired and leave his beloved Army for civilian life. With retirement imminent, Alewine is working to win the title "Ultimate Champion" at the 2018 Department of Defense Warrior Games hosted by the United States Air Force at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. more than anything.
Alewine is training six days a week for four hours a day leading up to Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas in March, where he hopes to earn a spot on Team Army for the 2018 DOD Warrior Games. To get there he has one stop to make and another pretty big personal goal.
"I want to make Team Army and compete at the DOD Warrior Games for several reasons. The two that stand out and mean the most are that I can show other Soldiers who have injuries they can still be a competitor and most importantly is to lead by example and challenge myself. One day I want to be able to look back on this and teach my kids a valuable life lesson. Sometimes life gets hard and knocks you down, but you always have to get up and give it your all no matter what."
In order to be named "Ultimate Champion", Alewine must compete and perform well in all the events: track, field, air rifle and pistol, archery, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and swimming."
"Becoming an Ultimate Champion is to push myself to the limit and see what I have left in the tank," Alewine said. "It is not easy by any means. All the mental and physical work it takes to transition from one event to another is very challenging, but a challenge I take with a smile on my face. I truly just love competing and cheering my fellow brothers and sisters on."
That is the kind of support Alewine found at the Fort Belvoir WTB. He likes to stress that the WTB is not focused on developing athletes but is focused on doing what's best for each individual's recovery.
"The WTB has a very balanced approach to everything Alewine said. "They want you to be as active as possible within the limits of your physical condition and they teach you how to do so. For me, I tried to return to duty when I first got here and they supported me 100%. But now, since I'm transitioning to veteran status, they helped me focus on my life after the Army."
Alewine has plans to start classes in the fall at Greenville Tech in Greenville, S.C. Even with a traumatic brain injury, he feels that he has the tools to press on.
"I have worked with my TBI clinic to figure out new ways to learn. With my TBI, educational learning can be a challenge, but I am confident that I will have at least a 3.5 GPA and graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Business within three years."
As Alewine continues to train for Army Trials and hopefully Warrior Games, it's clear he is steadily preparing himself for his future after the Army and beyond the Games.