News: Wounded Warriors adapt, overcome at Andrews sports camp
Story by Staff Sgt. Torey Griffith
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. - More than 30 Air Force wounded warriors gathered at the West Fitness Center on June 26 to kick off a two-day adaptive sports camp designed to help them overcome their challenges and enjoy a physically active lifestyle.
This was the first Air Force Wounded Warriors Adaptive Sports Camp held especially for the patients at Andrews and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., where airmen are healing and learning to adapt to the new realities of their lives.
"These heroes have had their lives turned upside down as a result of combat or other injuries and health issues they have encountered," said Tony Jasso, Air Force Wounded Warrior adaptive sports program manager. "As part of the Air Force's Wounded Warrior Program, this sports camp is intended to introduce adaptive sports during the earliest stages of recovery for our service members."
Sports like wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, swimming, air rifle/pistol shooting and track and field help keep them active: something Lt. Gen. Thomas Travis, surgeon general of the Air Force, says is essential to wellness.
"These activities are a way to get you back into the game, to improve your quality of life and help you get on with your recovery," Travis told the wounded warriors during the opening ceremony. "Your attitude and self-confidence has more to do with your well-being than you may think."
Travis went on to stress the importance of the Wounded Warrior Program as the airmen make the sometimes complicated transition back to work in the Air Force or into civilian life.
"Caring for airmen is what we do: It's the reason we're here," he said. "Health should be a part of everybody's mission."
The Air Force Wounded Warrior program helps with more than the physical aspect of adjustment, and the assistance doesn't stop after the warrior's enlistment ends. The program works hand-in-hand with the Air Force Survivor Assistance Program and Airman & Family Readiness Centers to ensure airmen receive professional support and care from the point of injury, through separation or retirement, for life.
Advocates from the program work with airmen to ensure they receive face-to-face, personalized services possible and even provide professional services such as transition assistance, employment assistance, moving assistance, financial counseling, information and referral, and emergency financial assistance.
For more information on the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program, visit http://www.woundedwarrior.af.mil/