By MaryTherese GriffinJune 30, 2019
Injured Soldier says he would join the Army all over again
By MaryTherese Griffin, Army Warrior Care and Transition
TAMPA Fla, -- As the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games come to a close, Sgt. Cory Ivins reflects on his second trip to this annual competition of the best of the best between wounded, ill and injured service men and women.
"The games ae exciting," said Ivins. "This is my second year and I'm really excited to be here. I didn't get as many medals as I wanted to before I got here. I set a minimum goal of three and I won three so I'm meeting that goal," he says with absolute pride.
Ivins, who enlisted in 2011 as a signal support system specialist, wants to use those skills when he gets out of the Army and study to earn a computer engineering degree. His time at the Fort Stewart, Georgia Warrior Transition Battalion is nearly complete. Besides wear and tear from deployments he was faced with a surprise diagnoses that would send most folks over the edge. "Well for starters I blew out both my patella's (knees) in 2016, and in 2018 I had a tumor on my spinal cord. My middle name is not lucky but it might as well be lucky because they found it by luck in a routine test. It was removed and I am better."
His focus on getting better and competing in life and on the competition grounds at Warrior Games always has the love of country in his mind. Even with all that he's been through the road he's been on since joining the Army in 2011 was the right choice for this husband and father.
"I think it's worth it," explained Ivins. "As an everyday Soldier, sometimes you lose sight of your mission and things get a little blurry; you're excited to see the world and fight for your country and you don't really know what you signed yourself up for...and then you get hurt and you come to things like this (Warrior Games)I know I would do it all over again in the blink of an eye. I know what I am fighting for. I would definitely do it all over again.
Ivins wife Mary sees that pride as she and their toddler son Cameron cheer in the stands for the man she says has the ultimate fight in him.
"He doesn't want his injuries to be what he focuses on and that's why I'm glad he focuses here and he is conquering in many ways."
Not letting his injuries define him is what motivates Ivins to win. In fact, he says he does it in spite of them. That's a message he wants any new Soldier assigned to the WTB to understand and use his journey as an example.
"The WTB is what you make of it. Initially when I got to the Fort Stewart WTB, I was told it's a career killer. I will never say that to anyone. I will tell them it is what you make of it. Look what I made of it and my next goal is Invictus. That would be even sweeter victory. I would get a chance to compete on a bigger stage and would be honored to represent Team USA."