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Fort Campbell Warrior Transition Battalion Soldiers competing to join Team Army at 2019 Warrior Games

 

Written by Maria Yager
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Public Affairs 

Blanchfield Army Community Hospital (BACH)Fort Campbell, KY – Four Soldiers and one Veteran from Fort Campbell’s Warrior Transition Battalion will compete in the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas, March 6th to 16th, to earn a spot on Team Army for the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games later this year.

The DOD Warrior Games is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and Veterans. Both the Army Trials and Warrior Games provide an adaptive reconditioning outreach opportunity for the Soldiers to get involved in, outside of their routine adaptive reconditioning workouts while assigned to a WTB.

Master Sgt. Cinnamon Wright practices rowing at Shaw Gym Feb. 28. Wright is one of four Soldiers from Fort Campbell's Warrior Transition Battalion heading to the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week, to compete for a spot on Team Army in the 2019 Warrior Games later this year. Adaptive reconditioning activities including rowing are linked to a variety of benefits for Wounded Warriors, and assists in their overall rehabilitation and recovery. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Master Sgt. Cinnamon Wright practices rowing at Shaw Gym Feb. 28. Wright is one of four Soldiers from Fort Campbell’s Warrior Transition Battalion heading to the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week, to compete for a spot on Team Army in the 2019 Warrior Games later this year. Adaptive reconditioning activities including rowing are linked to a variety of benefits for Wounded Warriors, and assists in their overall rehabilitation and recovery. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

The games highlight the resiliency and warrior spirit of service members and veterans despite their wounds, injuries and illness.

“For me personally, it’s a good opportunity because after I got injured this last time it was pretty rough,” said WTB Soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Fontenot, competing in adaptive power lifting, rowing, seated shotput and discus, and wheelchair racing. Fontenot said he felt discouraged leaving his Soldiers after his knee-injury took him from the fight. “[The Army Trials and Warrior Games] gives me something to fight for.”

(L to R) Staff Sgt. Kenneth Arnold, Sgt. 1st Class Ian Crawley, and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Fontenot, all assigned to Fort Campbell's Warrior Transition Battalion, practice moving down the court during a round of wheelchair basketball at Shaw Gym Feb. 28. The Soldiers will be competing in the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week, to earn a spot on Team Army for the 2019 Warrior Games later this year. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

(L to R) Staff Sgt. Kenneth Arnold, Sgt. 1st Class Ian Crawley, and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Fontenot, all assigned to Fort Campbell’s Warrior Transition Battalion, practice moving down the court during a round of wheelchair basketball at Shaw Gym Feb. 28. The Soldiers will be competing in the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas, this week, to earn a spot on Team Army for the 2019 Warrior Games later this year. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Soldiers in a WTB are going through the recovery and transition process after being wounded, or sustaining an injury or illness requiring six months or more of rehabilitative care and complex medical management. In addition to their medical treatment, adaptive sports and occupational therapy are a part of each Soldier’s care plan.

A physical therapist at the WTB creates an individualized positive profile for each Soldier indicating which adaptive reconditioning activities meet the Soldier’s interests and physical abilities. These activities contribute to the Soldier’s recuperation and recovery, supporting their physical, cognitive and emotional well being.

“It’s been very beneficial. The adaptive reconditioning program has really helped me, allowing me to do what I can do within my limits, but also pushing me,” said Sgt. 1st Class Ian Crawley, currently assigned to the WTB.

Crawley was deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team when he experienced a life-threatening injury, requiring emergency surgery and medical evacuation. At the WTB, Crawley has undergone a series of surgeries to repair the damage and restore his health. He said working with the physical therapist and participating in adaptive reconditioning activities has been a helpful aspect in his recovery and regaining abilities.

“Being able to ride my bike again has been great. Because of my injuries it was something that I couldn’t do for a long time. It’s a great hobby and helping other Soldiers do that as well, within the cycling program at the WTB, has been really rewarding,” said Crawley. He is competing in cycling, rowing, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, and field events at the trials.

Other competitors from the Fort Campbell WTB include Master Sgt. Cinnamon Wright, competing in archery, shooting, cycling, and rowing; Staff Sgt. Kenneth Arnold, cycling, rowing, shooting, archery; and Veteran Jonathan Weasner, wheelchair racing, hand-cycle, seated field-discus and shotput, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, and shooting.


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