Washington, DC - Forty seriously wounded, ill and injured Navy athletes have been chosen to represent Team Navy at the Department of Defense (DoD) 2016 Warrior Games this summer.
The athletes were evaluated during the Wounded Warrior Pacific Navy Trials, which took place Feb. 20-26 in Hawaii.
During the trials 54 athletes competed in seven sporting events, including swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, shooting, archery, and cycling. Each athlete showcased his or her athletic skills while vying for a spot on the Team Navy roster.
"Nearly half of this year's trials participants were new to the adaptive sports program," said Navy Wounded Warrior - Safe Harbor Adaptive Sports and Recreation lead Megan Haydel. "This is a testament to the eagerness recovering service members have to bring sports into their recovery process.
"Our Navy wounded warriors exhibited tremendous drive, spirit and competition throughout the trials, making this year's team selection extremely difficult," said Haydel. "We could not be more proud of the efforts that our Sailors and Coast Guardsmen put into the trials. We witnessed firsthand the great strides they have made in their athletic capabilities and have seen the positive effects that adaptive sports can have on their recovery."
Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW) is the Navy and Coast Guard's wounded warrior support program. All of the athletes who participated in the trials are enrolled in the program, which has provided non-medical care throughout their recovery.
The 2016 Team Navy roster includes a diverse collection of athletes. It brings together service members from around the country, from both the enlisted and officer communities, with incredibly varied backgrounds and skill sets. The team will practice together for the first time at a training camp that will be held April 8-11 at Naval Base Ventura County, California.
The 2016 DoD Warrior Games - a Paralympic-style competition among wounded warriors from all branches of the military service - will take place June 14-22 at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. The Warrior Games were created in 2010 as a way to enhance the recovery and rehabilitation of wounded warriors and to expose them to adaptive sports. The games will feature more than 350 wounded warriors from five U.S. teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy/Coast Guard, Air Force, and the Special Operations Forces, as well as international competitors. Once again, NWW will sponsor Team Navy.
The DoD Warrior Games will be preceded by the Invictus Games, an international wounded warrior athletic competition that brings together more than 500 competitors from 15 nations to compete in 10 sports. The U.K.'s Prince Harry started the games in 2014 to honor wounded warriors. NWW will send 18 wounded warrior athletes to ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World in Orlando May 8-12. The Navy's Invictus Games participants can be viewed on the official Invictus Games website at http://invictusgames2016.org.
The complete 2016 Team Navy Roster is below:
Retired Navy Chief Logistics Specialist Leticia Baugher
Navy Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Ron Condrey
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Zachary Crites
Navy Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Custer
Retired Navy Aviation Electrician's Mate Apprentice Steven Davis
Navy Machinist's Mate 1st Class Michael Dayton
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Joseph Derbak
Retired Navy Builder 1st Class Robert Dodd
Retired Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Nathan Dewalt
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Roel Espino
Navy Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Matthew Estes
Retired Navy Airman Austin Field
Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Shane Gilley
Navy Lieutenant Commander Maria Cristina Gomez-Mannix
Retired Navy Engineman 3rd Class Jerrod Griffin
Retired Navy Lieutenant Joan Hill
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman Adam Hygema
Navy Musician 3rd Class Abbie Johnson
Retired Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Andrew Johnson
Retired Navy Airman Brittany Jordan
Navy Operations Specialist 3rd Class Melissa Klotz
Retired Navy Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class Daniel Kregstein
Retired Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Steven Lee
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sonny Lemerande
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bernard Lowe
Retired Navy Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Christopher Lowe
Retired Navy Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Stephan Miller
Retired Navy Airman Brett Parks
Navy Retired Aerographer's Mate 1st Class Stephanie Purpish
Retired Navy Aviation Technician 3rd Class Kathleen Ray
Retired Navy Fire Controlman 3rd Class Jason Reyes
Retired Navy Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Michael Roggio
Retired Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Laura Root
Retired Navy Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Henry Sawyer
Navy Information Systems Technician 1st Class Ryan Shannon
Retired Navy Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Samanthia Silke
Navy Electronics Technician 1st Class Scottie Smith
Retired Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Luis Surla
Navy Chief Gunner's Mate Jeannette Tarqueno
Navy Chief Culinary Specialist Maria Torres
For the latest news about the DoD Warrior Games, visit http://warriorgames.dodlive.mil/ and follow NWW on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/navywoundedwarrior , Twitter (@navywounded) and Instagram (Navy Wounded Warrior). Visit http://www.safeharbor.navylive.dodolive.mil or call 855-628-9997 to learn more about NWW and the benefits of adaptive sports.
Navy Installations Command is comprised of about 52,000 military and civilian personnel worldwide and is responsible for the operations, maintenance and quality of life programs in support of the Navy's fleet, Sailors and their families.