U.S. Army Veterans Train in Shot Put at the 2022 Invictus Games Team U.S. Training Camp
Retired U.S. Army Capt. Alex Wilson prepares to compete in the 2022 Invictus Games by training in shot put during the 2022 Invictus Games Team U.S. Training Camp, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, April 11, 2022. Team U.S is a part of more than 500 participants from 20 countries who will take part in The Invictus Games The Hague 2020 featuring ten adaptive sports, including archery, field, indoor rowing, powerlifting, swimming, track, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair ruby, and a driving challenge. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rhianna Ballenger) (Photo Credit: Spc. Rhianna Ballenger) VIEW ORIGINAL

By Jyremy Reid

FORT BELVOIR, Va. — There is no better way to overcome a life challenge than by setting a personal goal. This is exactly what motivates retired U.S. Army Capt. Alex Wilson to perform at the highest level possible for the upcoming Invictus Games.

Wilson began his journey in the Army as a scout platoon leader while stationed at Camp Taji near Baghdad, Iraq in 2007. He survived a major incident after driving over an improvised explosive device. This life-changing event left Wilson with an amputated leg.

Although injured, Wilson’s time in recovery at the Soldier Recovery Unit in Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland inspired him to create goals for himself. He hasn’t slowed down a bit since.

Wilson chose to participate in events that helped keep his focus away from his physical limitations. He participated in his first event for the MS 150, a bike ride from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, Texas. He also had the chance to compete in the 2018 and 2019 Warrior Games.

After a two-year hiatus from the Invictus Games due to the pandemic, Wilson is excited for yet another opportunity to compete - especially in front of his wife and two children. During a training session for the games at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, Wilson beamed with excitement as his family watched on.

“It definitely means a lot to have my family here and to have their support,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s wife, Emily Saulsgiver, mentioned that he has always been humble about his whole experience.

“Watching him perform after seeing the kind of athlete he was before his injury is really great,” she commented. “It’s inspiring to see him come to life with his competitive nature.”

Out of all the many events he’s participated in, Wilson mentioned that sitting volleyball is by far his favorite.

“I love volleyball because it’s fast-paced and a team sport,” he added. “There’s a lot of energy and everyone is working toward the same goal. It’s an honor to represent the United States well and the comradery is something I really cherish.”