By MaryTherese GriffinJune 27, 2019
"Superheroes wear dog tags"
By MaryTherese Griffin, Army Warrior Care and Transition
TAMPA, Fla. -- When you walk around the Tampa Convention Center during the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games, what you will see is a sea of athletes, coaches and fans. Team Army athlete Capt. Mya Gordon is wowed with all the fan attention. "It's a super high to see little kids here following you, acting mesmerized and thinking you are a superhero. Even the security guards when they check my bags coming into the arena asked if they can have an autograph, from me," said Gordon, a humble Army Ordinance officer. I feel like I'm just a regular person at an amazing event that I worked hard for."
The superhero treatment started earlier in the week. "At Opening ceremonies we came around from back stage and I looked up at all the people and I was like, WOW this is for real. We walked out on stage and everyone was cheering for us, I could not stop smiling. Being there in the moment like the Olympics you see on TV, thinking about how hard we've worked to get here, It was very surreal," said Gordon.
The earlier surreal part for the Minnesota native was being injured and having to go to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas. "I had a superior labral tear in my left shoulder. They performed the surgery and disconnected my bicep tendon and then reconnected it, "said Gordon.
Through her reconditioning she became engrossed in adaptive sports. "All these events that I am competing in I've never done before, I just picked it up at the WTB," explained Gordon. This gave me a goal and I thought if I have a goal I'm going to work harder to get to that goal. I wanted to get to Warrior Games and I'm here," said the bashful superhero who won a bronze medal in the discus competition.
You'll never hear any of these Wounded Warriors claim superhero status but for fans like Christle and Tom Vinson from Clearwater, Florida, they say that's their job to proclaim it for them. "I've been so impressed with the adaptation of what these athletes do, it's almost not human," said Tom a Vietnam Army veteran. His wife Christle summed it up best, "We know they are better than superheroes, they don't need a cape."