SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - "It just makes me feel good. It validates who I am and what I can still do, and makes me proud and happy of myself," Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Foiles, a Soldier assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington said.
Foiles placed first in the archery event for the U.S. Army Pacific Regional Trials at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, on Nov. 14, 2018.
"Once I step up to the line I am little nervous, but our coaches are great and train us well on our fundamentals and the shot process," said Foiles.
The archery event was composed of five categories: individual compound open, individual compound visually impaired, individual recurve open, team compound, and team recurve.
The competitors shot compound and recurve bows from a standing or seated position. Participants competed in different-classification categories based on their functional abilities, including impaired muscle power/range of movement, limb deficiency, and visual impairment.
Many Soldiers who attended the Trials are injured, or have previously been injured and are trying to cycle back into the Army, or are close to getting healthy while transitioning out of the Army.
"Adaptive reconditioning is one of many pieces of the recovery process, and not everyone that gets injured wants to pursue sports or the Paralympics," Jarrett Jongema, the athletic director for Pacific Regional Trials said.
According to Jongema, the competitors took "a huge love for the sport."
"Most of them are happy just to be here and to possibly compete for a spot to represent the U.S. Army Team (at Army Trials, then the Department of Defense Warrior Games)," he said.
Success from Jongema's view was not measured by how the Soldiers placed in their respective events.
"Here we don't judge about metrics or statistics; I could care less who would get gold, silver or bronze," Jongema said.
He also stated, "When Soldiers first come on-board, they are very nervous, but by the end of the events there's a lot of confidence built up, and a lot of smiles showing ... and that is what we love to see." - The spirit of the "games."