FORT CARSON, Colo. - At the 2011 Warrior Games, the All-Marine shooting team took home 20 out of 24 medals and assisted the Marine Corps with taking home the Chairman’s Cup for the second consecutive year. This year the shooting team is back with a vengeance and stronger than ever.
When the team found out one week before the start of the events that teammate, veteran Marine Lance Cpl. Lance Weir might not be able to participate in the third annual Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. April 30 to May 5, 2012, the team made a pack to “win the gold for Weir.”
“Lance came in yesterday and every body was ecstatic to see him,” said shooting Coach John Schwent. “To get him physically able to compete in this short time is a miracle in itself.”
This miracle Schwent is referring to is Weir’s recent visit to the hospital. It was there that Weir found out that he might not make it to the Warrior Games and even worse that he might lose his left leg due to a hematoma.
“A month ago my left thigh was swollen and discolored.” said Weir. “I rushed to the hospital and they told me that I had a bleed in my leg and a foreign object in my femur from a break fourteen years ago. So they rushed me to emergency surgery.”
Weir was reluctant to go through the procedure during this time because, “I wanted to make the trip out to the Warrior Games and be with my bothers and sisters.”
Doctor’s quickly reminded Weir of the severity of his surgery.
“They told me that they did not know whether or not I would live. So being here at the [Warrior Games], I feel like I have won the battle,” said Weir.
Weir has faced many battles throughout his life. In 1993 he had a non-service related spinal cord injury due to a diving accident.
“You are going to face adversity many times in your life. Sometimes you are going to end up in a bear fight. When that happens you just have to whip that ‘damn’ bear,” said Weir. “This is one of those bear fights for me and I am going to get through it.”
Last year Weir earned a gold and silver medal in the shooting events. He plans to battle the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations Command at this year’s games in air rifle prone-SH2 (shooters requiring a gun support in order to shoot), air rifle standing-SH2 and the 50m freestyle.
“Shooting is a sport that takes every ounce of energy, concentration and you have to bring it every day. I am glad to be here shooting and doing what I love. There is absolutely no other place that I would rather be,” said Weir.
Established in 2007, the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was created to provide and facilitate non-medical care to combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines, and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units and their family members in order to assist them as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental Headquarters element, located in Quantico, Va., commands the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and multiple detachments in locations around the globe.
For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment or the 2012 Warrior Games, go to: www.woundedwarriorregiment.org or call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at (877) 487-6299.
Marines and Marine veterans who are interested in participating in the Warrior Athlete Reconditioning program training camps or next year’s Warrior Games should contact the WAR program staff at WWSports@usmc.mil.