By Sgt. 1st Class Felix A. FigueroaJanuary 24, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Jan. 24, 2013) -- Soldiers assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 85th Infantry Regiment (Warrior Transition Unit), at Fort Drum, N.Y., recently participated in the third round of the U.S. Army Warrior Transition Command Warrior Games assessment and selection clinic held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The intent of the assessment clinic is to find the best Army athletic representative to compete in the annual Warrior Games, which is set to take place May 11-17, in the Olympic Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.
This was the third of three separate selection clinics, each focusing on various adaptive reconditioning sports, and each taking place at separate duty locations. The first clinic, held in Fort Belvoir, Va., was a multi-sport event emphasizing archery and sitting volleyball training, while the second clinic, held in Fort Bliss, Texas, focused on cycling and swimming activities.
Before a Soldier attends any clinic, a physical therapist assigned to the warrior-athlete's home unit assesses the individual and creates a tailored physical regimen, enabling wounded warriors to adapt to their current physical and mental state while successfully reconditioning and transitioning either back to duty or civilian life.
Once this process is complete and Warrior Games selections are done at the unit level, athletes throughout the U.S. travel to the clinics and get to compete in a wide array of sports, while maintaining a positive profile.
"The clinics provided me an opportunity to get out there and be active again, especially in something I enjoy doing in my off time," said Spc. Derek Reimer, one of three participants currently assigned to 3-85 Infantry (WTU).
According to Lt. Col. Keith Williams, Adaptive Reconditioning Branch chief for Warrior Transition Command, the primary focus of the assessment clinics and Adaptive Reconditioning sports program is to provide an opportunity for Soldiers to try something different, while holistically reconditioning them in each of the six Comprehensive Transition Plan domains -- career, physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual.
The Department of Defense, in partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Program, has provided wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans an opportunity to compete annually at the Warrior Games.
Upon completion of the Warrior Games, participants or team members who place first, second and third in their respective events earn either gold, silver or bronze medals.
"I feel extremely lucky to have been chosen to come back and represent my unit and family here," Reimer said.
Reimer is competing for a position on the archery team. He previously tried out for wheelchair basketball and seated volleyball, and he was not selected for the two events in rounds one and two. However, he was asked by organizers to come back for this clinic to further assess his candidacy in archery.
"I would love it if I get to come back and compete for a chance to win gold," he added.