SRU support eases Soldier’s fear

By Keisha FrithApril 17, 2023

Army Adaptive Sports Camp 2023
U.S. Army Cpt. Tyler Simmet (left) and Spc. Cristian Gonzalez-Miranda (right),racing during the U.S. Army Adaptive Sports Camp at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, March 30, 2023. Over 70 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers are training in a series of athletic events including archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, powerlifting, track, field, rowing, and wheelchair basketball. The Adaptive Sports Camp celebrates wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers ability to recover and overcome. The Army Holds qualifying trials for Active Duty, wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers to assess and select athletes for competition in the Warrior Games Challenge. This year, the Warrior Games Challenge takes place in June 2023 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California.

(U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Anthony Hopper.) (Photo Credit: Cpl. Anthony Hopper)

FORT BRAGG, N.C – Questions and uncertainty surrounded a deployed Soldier after being diagnosed with a neurological condition, he later found hope at the Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU). Spc. Cristian Gonzalez -Miranda began experiencing seizures last year while deployed to Poland.

“My first thought was, am I going to get sent home, am I going to get discharged from the Army?” said Gonzalez-Miranda.

His fears were calmed when he was sent to the Fort Bragg SRU, one of the 14 SRU’s located on military installations across the United States.

According to the Army Recovery Care Program (ARCP) website, over 40 percent of Soldiers assigned to an SRU have returned to duty.

Gonzalez-Miranda is appreciative of the adaptive reconditioning team at the SRU and his family who have been supporting him on this journey.

Whenever Gonzalez-Miranda has a seizure, he does not remember anything prior to, he is dependent on others to tell him what happened to share the information with his doctor.

Sitting by the side of the pool, cheering his teammates with an occasional fist bump, Gonzalez-Miranda could not remember his own swimming experience that morning.

Gonzalez-Miranda was one of the 70 wounded, ill and injured Soldiers participating in the Army Adaptive Sports Camp, March 28 to April 5. Athletes who qualify for the Army team will participate in the 2023 Warrior Games Challenge in June at Naval Air Station, North Island in San Diego, California.

“They have me doing stuff every day and it keeps my mind off all my conditions and my struggles,” said Gonzalez-Miranda. The staff go above and beyond every day, taking good care of me. They already know the signs when I am about to experience a seizure,” said Gonzalez-Miranda.

Soldiers assigned to SRU’s have a team of devoted professionals who work with them to assess their needs and establish goals for their recovery.

The camaraderie and the determination have also been an added value to Gonzalez-Miranda, as he expressed his excitement that other athletes choose to encourage him despite having their own challenges.

“Being around all these people is just an amazing feeling, everyone has their own condition or disability, and they are all here giving their best,” said Gonzalez- Miranda.

This atmosphere of encouragement is what boosts the confidence of Gonzalez- Miranda and so many others as they thrive to be all they can be in the Army.

Gonzalez-Miranda’s hope is to one day make the Army team.

“To make the Army team would be phenomenal because I get to show everyone else that even with their conditions or disabilities, they still have the chance of being greater than they were before,” said Gonzalez-Miranda.

While Gonzalez was unable to continue participation in the Army Adaptive sports camp, he continues to support his fellow Soldiers.