By Jyremy Reid
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — Retired U.S. Army Spc. Brent Garlic’s journey to the upcoming 2022 Invictus Games is nothing short of remarkable.
Garlic found a passionate outlet for himself with the help of the military and adaptive sports. Following the path of his two uncles and grandfather, Garlic joined the Army in hopes of filling their shoes. He soon learned much more about himself in the process than he ever imagined.
While on a mission, he encountered a major incident in which a fuel truck that followed his vehicle lost control and collided with him. Garlic suffered several severe injuries as a result, leaving him angry for a few years.
Garlic found himself through adaptive sports, particularly wheelchair basketball which happens to be his favorite. He participated in the 2018 and 2019 Warrior Games and excitedly awaits his Invictus Games debut.
“The most exciting thing is being with my teammates every day,” he said. “Some of us are new to this and some are old, but we still grow together nonetheless.”
Team Army’s physical therapy staff are very pleased with the performances of Garlic and his teammates. They work nonstop around the clock to ensure the Soldiers are feeling their strongest.
“The ability for these guys to come together quickly and learn is very impressive to see,” mentioned Lee McCain, physical therapist for Team Army. “They haven’t been together for a while so there’s been a lot of work remotely and in person.”
Garlic gives a lot of credit for how adaptive sports have transformed his life and changed his viewpoint. In addition to wheelchair basketball, he looks forward to participating in rowing, powerlifting, swimming and wheelchair rugby - a sport he picked up rather quickly during the Invictus training camp.
“I’m a team guy,” he added, “so that aspect is the thing I looked forward to the most…going to the Netherlands and performing as one unit.”