By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and TransitionFebruary 12, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. - For U.S. Army Spc. Mitchell Bombeck, joining the military was a no brainer. It's a family tradition. The self-proclaimed farm boy from Minnesota became an all-wheel diesel mechanic in the Forward Support Company, 682nd Engineer Battalion in the Minnesota National Guard.
At six feet and two inches tall, weighing 230 pounds, it would seem tough to break such a solid man, but it happened. During a 2015 deployment to Kuwait, Bombeck kept experiencing pain in both hips. When he returned to Fort Bliss, Texas, it turned out surgeries were in order to fix the issue. At the tender age of 22, Bombeck learned he had femoroacetabular impingement, or FAI, a debilitating hip condition that results from the way your bones grow. However, it would not keep him from his job in the Army. He is now proud to have returned to duty after rehabilitation at the Warrior Transition Unit, Fort Campbell, Ky.
"The recovery was good, but it was a little complicated and long. They completed the first surgery on my left hip, but weren't able to do the right one because my original surgeon was deployed around the time it was scheduled to happen. They put me into the system and into the Warrior Care and Transition Program," said Brombeck.
Bombeck's time in the program was well spent fixing what was broken, physically and spiritually. In order to work on both, his therapist at Fort Campbell had a fitting suggestion. "Lindsay (the occupational therapist) told me about the Warrior Games and her exact words were, "you're a big Minnesota farm boy; you like to throw stuff; go throw stuff for us."
Bombeck went out and tried the field events, shot-put and discus are his specialty. He did well enough to make Team Army last year and competed at the 2017 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Chicago. He found the experience educational and bonding. "The games show all people, whether you served or not, that you can still thrive and continue to live [after an injury]," Bombeck said. I'm looking forward to hopefully doing all of that again," he added.
Bombeck refuses to see his body as being broken. He continues to serve in the Minnesota National Guard and works as a mechanic as a citizen Soldier. During Army Trials later this month at Fort Bliss, Bombeck plans to strengthen that brotherly Army bond and work hard to represent Team Army this year in Colorado Springs, Colo. The DoD Warrior Games reminds me that I still have potential and something to show the world. So if I get to go to the Games once again, I'm gonna put all I got in to making it to the top, getting all the Medals I can get, and make the Army look great."