News: Afghanistan couldn't beat him
WEST POINT, N.Y. - “Afghanistan didn’t beat me. I still matter,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Holland, Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Benning, Ga. He may have been hurt overseas, but he will not let it stop him living his life.
Holland is very grateful for the Adaptive Reconditioning program. A program that includes activities and sports that wounded, ill and injured Soldiers can participate to optimize their physical, cognitive and emotional well-being.
Holland used to compete in marathons and triathlons before sustaining a traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord injury in Afghanistan 2012. Unable to still compete in marathons and triathlons, he now competes in cycling, in a recumbent bike; a bike that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position and supports the upper body more than a normal bicycle is can be peddled by legs or arms, swimming, wheel chair basketball and his favorite shooting.
“I am still in the fight and can use adaptive equipment to do these events” said Holland.
Holland is at West Point for the 2014 U.S. Army Warrior Trials. More than 100 wounded, ill and injured service members and Veterans from across the United States are at West Point to compete in the Army Warrior Trials, June 15-19. The event is hosted by Warrior Command and includes athletes from the Army, Marines and Air Force facing off in archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Participants in the trials include athletes with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment, serious illnesses and amputations. Results of Army Warrior Trials will help determine which athletes make Team Army and compete in the 2014 Warrior Games, Sep. 28 - Oct. 4, Colorado Springs, Colo.
He is competing in the air rifle shooting challenge combined with air rifle and pistol. The rules for the event are modified from the Paralympic rules to suit the U.S. Army Warrior Trials and broken into categories based upon injuries. The warriors will have unlimited numbers of practice shots but will have only 40 pellets to shoot at a ten meter target. At the end of the 40 pellets they add all the scores together to find out the winner.
Holland’s hard work and training were rewarded at the U.S. Army Warrior Trials shooting competition. He received the two medals, a silver medal place in the standing air rifle competition and a bronze medal in the open category for air rifle prone.
“I do this to Honor them” said Holland. He is competing in the U.S. Army Warrior Trials in remembrance of the fallen soldiers he served with. Holland is not competing just to show himself that he will not let his injury define him but to Honor the Fallen Soldiers.
Holland says, “It is absolutely crucial balance of all three will make you a great athlete.” As he talks about the importance of the performance triad, three components; sleep, activity, and sleep that when combined create an optimal training performance.
“I couldn’t do this without the support of my family,” said Holland. He says his wife has been there through the long days of training encouraging him to do his best.
Holland might have been injured in Afghanistan but they could never injure his spirit. Holland is competing more than six events and with three events passed, he has two medals to show for his training and determination to never quit. He says that is only the beginning and hopes to bring more medals home for the U.S. Army team.